The redundancy rate in the UK hit a record high at the end of 2020, leading thousands of people looking for work. For those in this situation, it can be an extremely stressful and uncertain period.
In this post we want to try and provide some guidance in steps you should take should you find yourself recently in this position.
If you have found yourself being made redundant, you will likely be entitled to redundancy pay.
There are services available help you work out your estimated statutory redundancy pay, such as the Money Advice Service Redundancy pay calculator. Services like this also provide information on your legal rights, and have specialist advisers available to provide impartial money advice.
Benefits and entitlements
If you have been made redundant it is important to review your finances, and depending on your length of unemployment you may need any financial support.
The three main benefits you are able to claim if you have lost your job is Universal Credit, New style Jobseeker’s Allowance, and New Style Employment and Support Allowance.
Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs, which is calculated by your household income and savings. To be able to claim, you and your partner must have less than £16,000 in savings. However, redundancy payments are treated as ‘capital’, so if your redundancy payment takes your savings over the threshold you will be unable to apply.
The New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance is available if you have made enough Class 1 National insurance Contributions in the last two tax years. This benefit is available for up to six months and paid every two weeks. Your claim won’t be affected by your partner/spouse’s income, and you can still claim even if you have over £16,000 in savings. You can also apply
The last benefit, New Style Employment and Support Allowance, is applicable to those who have a health condition or a disability that limits your capability for work. Your savings, income and partners income with not affect your eligibility, and can be claimed alongside Universal Credit.
Review your CV
If you were in your previous role for a considerable time, your CV is most likely not up to date. Or you might want to change the type of jobs you apply for, in which case you may need to re-format your CV to be skills based.
For more information on this, please see our CV writing tips and identifying transferable skills blog posts.
Applying for roles
Once your CV is up to date, it will be time to start the job search. Applying for lots of jobs can be demotivating at times, so one way of tackling this is to set yourself targets. These could be as big or small as you feel is manageable, but being achievable is important. For example, you could set specific times of the day for job applications, or apply to a certain number of jobs per day.
Another option is to contact recruitment agencies directly. Recruiters will be able to talk you through potential options such as temporary work. Or if you have specific skills or experience, they may be able to contact companies on your behalf.
If your job search is taking longer than you expected, you may want to highlight this gap in employment on your cover letter.
That’s some of the tips we think could help anyone finding themselves going through the redundancy process.
For information of your redundancy rights please see the gov Redundancy: your rights page or the Money Advice Service website.