Updated: Dec 5, 2021
You only need to pick up a newspaper to realise that the economy is on its knees, and with a year like 2020 that is no surprise. Locked down, told to stay in, panic buyers wreaking havoc, it’s no wonder that the economy is suffering. Unfortunately, with a financial recession comes job cuts.
The rates of redundancy are going through the roof and hundreds of thousands of people are finding themselves out of work. So, whether you are hearing the rumbling of redundancies or you have been given your months’ notice of potential redundancies, here are 10 ways that you can prepare for it.
The Rising Rate of Redundancy in 2020
In August 2020 the Office of National Statistics estimated that the number of people on the payroll in the UK had fallen by approximately 695,000 since the beginning of the year. That is 695,000 people who are now without a reliable, regular income. While some may have chosen to go into self-employed contract work, many are still left without employment.
The government's furlough scheme may have done a fantastic job in holding off the inevitable, but it didn’t seem to have the desired effect in keeping people in work long term. With another wave of COVID-19 here, now is the time to ensure that your CV and redundancy preparations are up- to-date.
Your Rights During Redundancy
Depending on how long you have been working for your employer and what type of contract you have, you will be covered by the government guidelines that outline the correct process of redundancy. It is worth becoming familiar with this information so that you are aware of what you will be entitled to and the process that your employer should follow.
For a full list of your rights during redundancy follow this link to the gov.uk website -
or if you live in Northern Ireland based -
Whether you have been given redundancy notice or whether you are concerned that it might be a possibility in your future, here are 10 ways to prepare for redundancy.
1. Manage Your Emotions
It’s understandable that this is a really stressful time. The worry of not only losing your regular income but also the fear of a career regression is a fair reason to feel anxious. However, worrying doesn’t create action and what you need to do most in a redundancy crisis is to take action. While you have every right to feel angry, upset and worried, what will help you most at this time is to try and keep on top of your emotions. Try not to dwell, write things down instead of bottling them up and take some time for yourself so that your emotions don’t overwhelm you and create more problems than just looking for another job.
2. Get Clear on Your Rights
As we said earlier, you have statutory rights when you are made redundant and there is a process that your employer must go through. This process will be different depending on how long you have been working at the company, but overall, the basics of a notice period, a consultation and an option to move roles stay the same. Take this time now to brush up on your rights so that, should you be made redundant, you know what you are entitled to and that you know the process is being followed correctly.
You can find more information on redundancy rights via the
Northern Ireland based - https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coping-redundancy
3. Go Over Your Finances
When a regular income hangs in the balance, it’s a good idea to take stock of your finances and make sure you can account for every penny. Firstly, take a look at your monthly expenditure and make a list of places that you could make savings if you needed to. Then take a look at any credit or debts that you have and see if it is worth paying those off.
Finally, make sure that you are aware of any payments breaks or mortgage holidays that you could utilise. Having a clear view of your finances will help you to feel better about your situation and will give a clear picture of what your minimum salary needs to be should you need to look for another job.
4. Consider Joining A Union
Now might be a good time to look into union representation and join. The benefits vary from union to union and there are considerably different unions depending on the industry you work in.
Unions are designed to help protect an employee’s rights and provide them with support and guidance on any grievances they have, which includes redundancy. Some unions will provide legal help while others will offer trained staff to help guide you through the redundancy process. Take a look online today to see if you can find a suitable union that covers your industry and see what sort of benefits they offer.
If you want to join a recognised union in your workplace, you could approach a representative for information like the shop steward. Otherwise, contact the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to find out which union is relevant to you.
5. Check What You Are Entitled To
Should the worst come to the worst, you need to check what sort of financial help you will be entitled to. In most cases, your employer will provide you with a remuneration package for your time spent in their employment. In other cases, you may need to look for other financial assistance while you get yourself back into work.
For more information on this, take a look at the Entitled To website https://www.entitledto.co.uk/
which will give you a fair assessment of the benefits you might be able to claim.
6. Stay Professional and Maintain Good Working Relationships
Now is not the time to let your boss know what you REALLY think about him. In fact, now is a great time to maintain that professional relationship and show that even though your job might be at risk, you are still an excellent worker. In the event that your current employer is contacted for a reference, you will want that reference to be sparkling so make sure you stay professional.
7. Brush Up Your CV
If you are going to be looking for work in the near future, then you might want to brush up on your CV. There are some great websites and apps that will help you to streamline your CV and highlight any features that you might think will make you stand out. By doing this now, you will be one step ahead of any other employees who might be in the firing line and this will make you appear more proactive to a new employer.
Need your CV updated - email it to Paula (Me) at email@example.com and I can advise you if any changes need to be made.
8. Make Yourself More Employable
If you want to stand out from a crowded job market, then one of the things that will help with this is to work on your skill-set. Whether you are moving industry, want to brush up on your IT skills or just simply want to appear more employable, investing in some training now will help accomplish this.
At Donnan Coaching Services we will help with career/redundancy anxiety, updating your CV, interview preparation, honing your job-hunting skills, career coaching and utilising social media for job hunting.
Do not rush into applying for any or every job that comes up regardless of its suitability. Take stock of what you have to offer, what you want to do, and research what employers are looking for. It will be a changed job market post-lockdown and while some sectors may still be struggling there will be others that are more robust and in growth mode e.g. remote technology services companies, healthcare work, software development.
9. Network (Especially Online)
Social media has become a way for individuals to connect with one another and interact with brands. Specific activities vary, but generally, networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook are used to make connections online and expand one's network of people that have similar interests.
Networking is a great way to get yourself noticed and potentially meet new employers. By utilising website such as Linkedin, you can put your professional personality out there for the world to see. Update your page with your skillet and see how many people you can connect with.
10. Keep Upbeat
Finally, keep upbeat. We know that it might seem like an impossible task to put a happy face on right now, but by staying positive it will radiate from you and potential employers would much rather see that in the interview room than someone who is unhappy. Try to take some time for yourself and remember that while this seems like the worst possible timing, something great is just around the corner.
This is undoubtedly a difficult and unsettling time for you. However, redundancy does give you the opportunity to think about what you really want for the future. It also gives you the space to explore a wide range of opportunities that you otherwise may have been too busy to consider. But by following our 10 ways to prepare for redundancy, you will hopefully feel more in control of the situation and prepared for what lies ahead. Good luck!
Career Coach and Employability Trainer
Follow me on Instagram: @Donnan.coaching
For assistance with any of the information above, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org