The Great 'What to do in the event of redundancy' Hunt

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The Great 'What to do in the event of redundancy' Hunt

188 replies 162.2K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts

We now have a fully researched Redundancy Help Guide

Back to the original Great Hunt:

Have you ever been made redundant?

The Great 'What to do in the event of redundancy' Hunt

This is a special plea. Recently in the 'suggestions for major articles' discussion someone asked for one on what to do in the event of redundancy.

I think it's a great idea and plan to do it. However beforehand I wanted to get personal experiences and tips from people who have been through it - to help those who have it to come. Please help.

Click reply to leave your suggestions - on as wide an amount of info as you like.


Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000


  • nejnej Forumite
    1.5K posts
    I was nearly made redundant last year (and was several years ago). After the shock I saw it as a chance to get a better job. Treat it as an opportunity.

    Also, ask for more redundancy money. Can't hurt. Ask to keep a few things (I asked to keep my laptop and this was agreed. At the least I could sell it if I needed the money!).

    Look at any payment protection policies you may have and don't be afraid to use them.

    Sign on! To me this was going to be the most humiliating thing of all, but it is worth it for the extra money. Also many repayment policies may require you to do this.

    Slash outgoings. Most outgoings can be slashed. Look at your mortgage. You may be able to reduce it to interest only temporarily, if you have no protection for it, for example. Shop around for cheaper insurance, utilities, etc. Don't buy the best brand food, don't buy takeaways, don't buy unneccessary clothing and things you don't need.

    Budget. Work out an exact breakdown of how much money you have, and how much you need to spend. This will tell you how long your money can last. You might be suprised and find yourself with another months breathing space.

    Get your CV done ASAP. My firm provided a guy to help us with CV's and interviewing techniques. Ask your firm if they will do the same.

    Get on the case immediately. Don't sit around for a couple of weeks doing nothing but wallowing in self-pity, as tempting as that may sound. Register with job agencies, write letters, look in the job sections of papers and on the internet. And do it straight away. You may miss the perfect job otherwise.


    I was lucky and on the day of my "exit interview" they said I could stay as somebody else had resigned the night before and they could keep one person. I cheekily even asked for more money, and a week to think about it as I had another interview the following week. I didn't get the other job, but I did get a payrise in my current one!
  • I have never been made redundant but had a lot of experience with job agencies while a student.

    If you are willing to do anything you can always get a job, just don't expect to register with an agency then sit back and wait for them to contact you. I used to phone everyday to check if anything had come in and nearly always only got a job the day before I was able to start work. Kepp phoning and you will stay in their mind when jobs come in.
  • Not specific to redundancy, but for job searches generally, use your library! They often have good books for job hunting advice, plus free internet access and nice big desks for spreading out application forms. They may well also have information on local organisations that help with job searching. Also, two specific books I really like on job hunting are What Color Is Your Parachute, which helps you to think about what you want to do, and use unconventional (the author says much more effective) methods of finding jobs, and the other is 60 Seconds And You're Hired! which is about preparing for interviews in terms of how to prepare a '60 second sell' (a quick statement about yourself) based on your 3-5 strongest points, as opposed to lots of interview books which just list questions and 'good' answers...
    DFW stats:
    Currently under review

    Proud to be dealing with my debts
  • StormStorm Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    I got made redundant several years ago and it was the best thing that ever happened to me! I hated the job anyway, got paid a month in leiu(sp!) of notice plus a month tax free as a lump sum (this was after my months notice that I was at risk of redundancy). I was temping the Tuesday after i left, so didn't have any loss of earnings, and my lump sum cleared my overdraft. Once I was temping I had time to really consider my next move, and decided to go to university - I'm now in a much better job that I enjoy, albeit with a massive student loan!

    Most companies are also really good when redundancies are around too - ask for a skills audit, talk to all your colleagues about what they think your strengths/weakness are etc. I was given as much paid time off as I needed to attend interviews (including with agencies) - even if you don't really want that job interview practise is always good! If you've identified any gaps in your knowledge/skills, start working on them right away (i.e. learn about a new software package, read up on developments in your sector etc)

    If it's mass redundancies being made suggest that your employer contacts a local college to see if there's any courses they can run for a group - one of the colleges down here is running essential skills courses in work time for a local employer that is having to make loads of people redundant. When you are at risk of redundancy it's worth asking local colleges whether you'd get a reduction in fees for vocational courses - often there will be, or at least some support with associated costs (and again, ask your employer if they'll release you to go to a daytime course!) There's an organisation called Next Steps which offers free Careers and Learning Guidance interviews - the national website is http://www.nextstep.org.uk/ and you can search for your local one (I actually work for a sub-contractor of the Hampshire one and we have a freephone number, but I'm a bit worried about posting it as it's blatant advertising!)

    At the end of the day, most people will experience redundancy at some point in their working life, and it's a rock-solid 'reason for leaving' to put on your application forms!
    Total Debt 13th Sept 2006 (exc student loan): £6240.06 :eek:
    O/D 1 [strike]£1250 [/strike]O/D 2 [strike]£100[/strike] Next a/c [strike]£313.55[/strike]@ 26.49% Mum [strike]£130[/strike] HSBC [strike]£4446.51[/strike]@15.75%[STRIKE]M&S £[email protected] 4.9%[/STRIKE]
    Total Debt 30th April 2008: £0 100% paid off!

  • I am hoping to be made redundant this year. I would gain quite a lot financially because of the various schemes that my employer all have preferntial closing terms if one is made redundant compared to resigning (e.g. share scheme all shares can be sold tax free instead of having to wait five years, and first 30,000 of redundancy pay is tax free).

    For me it would be a great opportunity to take some time out, maybe change career, or do some voluntary work for a while. Wish me luck!
  • If you can type you will never starve!! Someone always needs a secretary esp legal and medical. I got my first job within two days of leaving uni - I learned over the weekend using a computer typing trainer!! Am training to be a lawyer now but I can always type if I had too!!
    All my views are just that and do not constitute legal advice in any way, shape or form.£2.00 savers club - £20.00 saved and banked (got a £2.00 pig and not counted the rest)Joined Store Cupboard Challenge]
  • adypemadypem Forumite
    256 posts
    I have been made redundant a couple of time, but the first was 4 years ago.
    During the period of being told I would have to leave the company I used this time to register with agency etc.... also decided it was a time to look at the monthly outgoings.

    I started with the obvious - Sky. It was a luxury and I could afford it, however I took the view that it could take 3 months to find work, so I slashed it to the basic.

    Secondly, I tackled the household mobiles, switching both to virgin pay as you go. This saved some money, however as I needed the phone to call agencies etc not as much as I would have liked.

    Thirdly, I planned or 6 months without salary, as this is the length of time when you get JSA (Job Seekers Allowance). I put my redundancy money into a savings account, and at the start of each month I transfered the minimum I would need to last a month. This seemed to work for me, but it took some getting used to.

    Signing on was all new to me, something I had never done and said I would't, but it was £110 every fortnight. £220/month that could be used for day/day living.

    Claimed on my mortgage protection, again this was quite easy as the company who made me redundant completed the forms quickly. This kicked in after my notice period + 30days.

    I looked at re-training, but I would have had to take a major paycut, but luckily I started contracting after 3 months on the dole. This again brought its own problems, but that's another story.

    The first 2/3 weeks were hard, really hard without the day/day work, and I suffered, but it takes time to ge through it.
    Self belief, postive thinking, but the most important and crucial thing to me was the support of my wife.

    I hope this helps, because once you have been made redundant and you return to another job your outlook on work/salary/outgoings changes drastically.
  • dlouis_2dlouis_2 Forumite
    21 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Those payment protection plans you avoid like the plague under normal circumstances - the moment you get an idea redundancy is possible, sign up. When the threat fades, dump them again. They're outrageously expensive to keep up all the time.

    Note most won't pay out if you're made redundant within a few weeks of signing up, so sign up quick if you have reason to worry, and try to drag out the redundancy process if necessary.

    Read Martin's article on payment protection insurance on the site. In general, avoid protection from the bank or credit card you owe money to and get it from a third party supplier. It will be much cheaper.
  • I worked for British Steel (corus) when i heard of the upcoming redundancies I went out and bought cover on my mortgage. I made sure i bought the one with the shortest time before i was allowed to claim. Then I volunteered for redundancy.

    Having being made redundant I also went to the seminars that my company ran to find new work, and applied for a degree course in my local university. This can be taken through the unemmployment agency as something called 'Work Based Learning.' May need to also contact your local Adult Re-Education centre. (Learning Wales). This means that you can sign on at the same time as doing your university course. I got all my books paid for, travel expenses and never actually had to go in to sign on. Special privilege for Students i guess.

    To keep my claim on my Mortgage Insurance I had to go and get a form once a month from the Job Centre and fax it off to the insurance company. (Not too much hassle for what I got in return).

    Because I was considered as on unemployment benefits, I was allowed to work but for no longer than 16hrs per week. That wasn't a problem as i needed time to study. Might also be a good idea to negotiate a higher hourly rate for the 16 hours you work.

    So with 125% of my mortgage paid from my redundancy insurance (for two years), my unemployment benefit, all my books and travel expenses paid for, not to mention the money i earned from my Part-time employer I was actually doing alright whilst getting a new career.

    I hope this helps.
  • warriswarris Forumite
    6 posts
    I agree with the other comments posted. I survived being made redundant after being with a company for almost 20 years, the effect can be devastating. Just remember one thing ITS THE JOB THAT'S REDUNDANT NOT YOU. You still remain a useful and employable human being, and what’s more you will survive it all, it can be a golden opportunity. Best of luck.
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