After four and a half years in one company, I never imagined that I would be made redundant. Yet, this week, that’s exactly what happened.
Having never been in this position, I instantly went to Google to find out everything I could about my rights and the redundancy process. Hours of searching later, I still had some questions that I couldn’t find answers to. Hopefully, for anyone in this unfortunate position, I can offer some help.
Being made redundant can make you feel a little lost. If you have been in the same place for years, it becomes comfortable, even if you don’t want the job forever. Sometimes we can take having a regular income for granted, and redundancy fills you with instant regret at how you have spent your income over time.
It is also disheartening that a company you gave so much to, in time and effort, no longer needs you. You cannot take this personally. You are not the problem; the role is just no longer needed.
Redundancy fills you with instant regret at how you have spent your income over time.
The positive side of being made redundant is that you now have the opportunity to think about your career and possibly even find something more suited to you, whether that be company culture or using your skills differently. Some people keep their options open while working, but often don’t look for work specifically. There are probably loads of great jobs out there for you that you’ve completely missed all this time. This is the motivation you need to make positive changes. It is worrying that you could be out of work for a while, but there are a lot of recruitment agencies that offer temporary jobs and, while not ideal, it may give you some breathing space while you search for your dream career move.
Firstly, if you believe you have been chosen unfairly for redundancy, please call Acas on 0300 123 1100. They can provide individual advice to employees.
If you understand why you are being made redundant, and you know that the role you have will no longer exist, these are the steps to take:
First, you should have a meeting with your employer to go through the process of being made redundant. They will discuss with you why the position will no longer be available and what to think about moving forward. You will likely have time to consider your options – such as another role within the company. If you accept the redundancy, you will discuss redundancy pay.
If you have been employed by your current employer for two or more years, you are usually entitled to statutory redundancy as required by law. Some companies have their own redundancy packages, but it must be a better option than statutory redundancy if so.
Payment to expect under a statutory redundancy package:
Half a week’s pay for each full year you were aged under 22
One week’s pay for each full year you were aged 22-41
One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older
Length of service is capped at 20 years.
As well as the standard redundancy pay, you are entitled to one week’s notice for each full year worked. For example, I have worked in the current company for four and a half years, so will receive four weeks’ redundancy pay and four weeks’ notice.
If your employer does not want you to work your notice, they must pay you for the notice period anyway. This is called payment in lieu of notice.
Your employer must give you reasonable time off to find another job, too. This includes time for interviews. However, be aware of your notice period and make sure that you start any new role once this is up. If you start a new job before the notice period is up, your reason for leaving your current role will be a ‘new job’ rather than redundancy. Of course, if it is a great opportunity it may be worth it.
Don’t forget to talk to your local Jobcentre about available benefits to keep you going between jobs.
You can find more information on redundancy and your rights on the Government website.
And remember, you got this!