In the current economic climate, more and more people are finding that they have to face the prospect of being made redundant as companies try to reduce their overheads in order to survive. Being made redundant is always difficult, but here are some tips to help you to cope if it happens to you.
Negotiate your Redundancy Package
Make sure that you know what your rights are and the minimum redundancy payment that you should receive. You should also make sure that your company is following the correct procedures for redundancies.
In the UK , the minimum statutory redundancy payment is as follows:
· Half a week’s pay for every year that you worked for the company whilst under 22 years of age.
· A week’s pay for every year that you worked for the company whilst aged between 22 and 40.
· One and a half weeks’ pay for every year that you worked for the company whilst aged 41 or over.
The payment is capped at £330 per week (£350 from 1 February 2009 ) and applies for a maximum of 30 weeks.
Some companies will offer you more than this and you should check your contract for any special terms. It’s also important to ensure that you receive any additional payments due to you, such as bonuses or commission that you have already earned. If there is anything else that you would like as a part of your redundancy package, don’t be afraid to ask – your company may throw in your mobile phone, laptop or even your company car as part of the package.
It’s natural to feel upset or angry when you are made redundant. However, try to remain calm and professional during the process. Your employer may have contacts in the industry who can help you to find another job and you may even find that other jobs arise within your company in the future. Don’t burn your bridges, however upset you are.
Start to Look for a New Job
You can start looking for a new job as soon as you have been given notice that you are going to be made redundant. Make sure that your C.V. is up to date. Sign up to email alerts for jobs in your industry or from other useful sites, such as your local council, the N.H.S or employment websites.
Read the jobs pages in the local paper or industry publications and sign up to local employment agencies. Check with any contacts that you have made whilst in your job to see if they know of any vacancies, and ask friends and family members to let you know if they hear of anything suitable.
It’s also sometimes worth writing to or telephoning companies in your area to see if they have any vacancies. Even if they don’t have a job available now, they may keep your details on file for the future.
Once you have been made redundant, treat looking for a job as if it is a job – try to get up at your usual time each day and set yourself a list of tasks so that you stay motivated. Remember to socialise as well, however, as this can help you to stay positive.
Organise Your Finances
Losing your income is always difficult, so even if you have been given a good redundancy package, make sure that you organise your finances to make your money last for as long as possible.
Check to see if you are entitled to any money in the form of State benefits. Have you got insurance in the form of mortgage payment protection cover or unemployment cover? If so, make sure that you make a claim if you are entitled to.
Reassess your outgoings and cut down on any unnecessary expenses. Could you switch to a cheaper gas, electricity, internet or mobile phone supplier, for example?
Set a new budget to account for your loss of earnings and stick to it.
Although being made redundant can be a big shock, many people find that it can turn out to be a positive thing. Try to think of the opportunities that you now have. For example, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to set up your own business, travel, do some voluntary work or go back to college.
If you are looking for a new job, keep sending out applications, so that even if you get rejection letters in the post, you know that someone, somewhere, will have just received a job application from you – and you may be just the person that they are looking for.