The crushing, dispiriting worry of the threat of redundancy is only enhanced when you have a family to care for. The result could be a change of lifestyle to lessen the frequency of treats and toys, or even clothing and food. However, if several steps are taken early in the process the fallout from being made redundant might not be quite so damaging.
Your company may have certain obligations to those being made redundant, depending on the circumstances. Your redundancy notice period will be based upon your length of time spent at the company. That spell of notice gives you time to start applying for jobs, give your CV an overhaul, network and start making plans. It might mean a spell of working part time or somewhere that is not ideal, but that’s better than unemployment.
Your (soon to be ex) place of work has certain obligations that it must make towards you. For example, you may be offered ‘suitable alternative employment’ if it exists, and you may lose your right to statutory redundancy pay if you turn it down. You should be allowed time off to attend job interviews or visit the JobCentre, which has a Rapid Response Service for those affected or potentially affected by redundancy.
Your redundancy payout will also soften the blow of unemployment temporarily – use this redundancy tool to find out your legal minimum entitlement.
Benefits after Redundancy
Help is available for any period of unemployment. The Government is in the process of merging several of the main benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Child Tax Credit and Income support into Universal Credit.
JSA can sometimes be means-tested, meaning that the amount you receive could be based on national insurance contributions from previous years.
You should be claiming tax credits already if your children are under the age of 16. Child Tax Credit and Childcare Tax credit are not the same thing – the latter may be available if your children spend their days at a registered nursery/childminder.
If things are still tight you may need to come to an arrangement to sort out finances. For more information on benefits visit the CAB website. In certain circumstances JobCentre money might also be available towards vocational training.
For a brief period your bank account may look better than ever before, but don’t go booking holidays to the Caribbean just yet. Your strategy should be to use your money to make sure that the most important things are covered, paying particular heed to anything that could damage your credit rating if not maintained such as mortgages, loans and credit cards. It could also be used further down the line for re-training or changing career.
If you are concerned, eliminate any superfluous outgoings such as subscriptions. It might be emotionally difficult to deny your children their usual treats, but with careful explanation that it is only temporary and that the cinema nights/trips to Pizza Hut might have to be a little less frequent – or put on hold for a spell – this can be managed relatively painlessly.
Instead, look for cheaper ways of entertaining your youngsters – if necessary get up early to hunt for online offers and vouchers. Many restaurants offer two for one deals, or kids eating for free. Also consider car sharing with another parent who takes the same route to drop the kids off to school, to save money on petrol.
When redundancy is mentioned, it is always a stressful time, from the moment when the threat of redundancy is first mentioned until the moment when the dust settles and you find a new job. But with a little thought and planning the stress can be minimised, and for many looking back the redundancy heralds the start of something new and better.