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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 21st Sep 06, 12:40 PM
    • 8,116Posts
    • 42,310Thanks
    MSE Martin
    The Great 'What to do in the event of redundancy' Hunt
    • #1
    • 21st Sep 06, 12:40 PM
    The Great 'What to do in the event of redundancy' Hunt 21st Sep 06 at 12:40 PM

    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.


    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 25-03-2014 at 1:51 PM.
    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.

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Page 1
    • nej
    • By nej 21st Sep 06, 1:29 PM
    • 1,504 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 06, 1:29 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 06, 1:29 PM
    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!
    • lynseyf
    • By lynseyf 21st Sep 06, 1:52 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 06, 1:52 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 06, 1:52 PM
    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.
  • Anwen
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 06, 2:11 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 06, 2:11 PM
    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
    • Storm
    • By Storm 25th Sep 06, 4:17 PM
    • 1,747 Posts
    • 1,402 Thanks
    • #5
    • 25th Sep 06, 4:17 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Sep 06, 4:17 PM
    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 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!
  • johnofhertford
    • #6
    • 25th Sep 06, 5:41 PM
    • #6
    • 25th Sep 06, 5:41 PM
    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!
    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 04-10-2006 at 2:35 PM.
    • jazzyjustlaw
    • By jazzyjustlaw 25th Sep 06, 6:20 PM
    • 1,342 Posts
    • 1,889 Thanks
    • #7
    • 25th Sep 06, 6:20 PM
    • #7
    • 25th Sep 06, 6:20 PM
    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]
    • adypem
    • By adypem 25th Sep 06, 8:44 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    • #8
    • 25th Sep 06, 8:44 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Sep 06, 8:44 PM
    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
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 06, 8:34 AM
    Payment Protection Insurance
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 06, 8:34 AM
    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.
  • andrewmagor
    What I did
    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.
    • warris
    • By warris 4th Oct 06, 9:46 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    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.
  • nappentass
    What I'm doing
    I was made redundant 3 weeks ago and my partner had been made redundant 2 wks before that.
    The best tip I was ever given that's helping me now - Remember that the ONLY thing that is taken away from you is money - nothing else, not your arms or legs, your brain or intelligence, none of you skills and experience, absolutely nothing else.

    Pratically speaking - sign on immediately to get your contribution paid, and whatever else you may be able to claim help with like council tax etc..
    They don't always get the information right so make sure you understand clearly what is going on, and what you can and cannot do or are entitled to.
    Thankfully I have mortgage protection, but I have to have the unemplyment certificates from signing on to be able to claim - and I've still not had the letter yet after nearly 4 wks!

    I want to retrain to a completely new career and have been told that I'm limited to how much I can pay for a course (from my pittance of redundancy) before it 'may affect my claim' - so still researching that.
    I'm unlikely to get a job in what I've been doing, so will soon have to consider other ways of supplementing our income, depending upon what my partner finds, so am using this time to plan and start retraining for my new career.

    I'm very lucky in having a partner that has done contract work for several years and has much more saleable skills than I have, we know exactly how much we need each month and are now asking ourselves the tough questions about whether we 'need' or 'want' things. I'm optimistic about our future we now have the opportunity to change our lives into what we've so often talked about

    Thanks for all the advice on this website I was also able to get information about what I was entitled to from my ex company when the process started so that gave me focus in those last couple of weeks. And the help with day to day moneysaving is great too.
  • lavenderlass
    My problem isn't quite redundancy, but similar and will apply to many local authority workers. I was a social worker for years but have a condition that means I am loosing control of my hands and feet, (strange but true, it's on I felt really vulnerable, some clients can be violent and local authorities just push you to work so hard you get exhausted. So at the end of an exhaustion phase I took early retirement on health grounds at the age of 42 to write articles from home. Lots of people retire early through stress. Anyway, five years on the article work is drying up, i get benefits and want to earn more than those to keep me independant, I've been offered a little work in fostering and adoption and because voice activated software is now so advanced it's just possible that for a short while I could earn enough to be independant of benefits.
    But here's the rub, I can't. There is a rule governing people in my position that they can't earn more than their last post working for another local authority once they've retired on health grounds. My last job was only 12 hours a week but I supplemented that by working in the emergency duty team 25 hours a week, but because that was only sessional work, despite that it ran for 2 years,) that doesn't count. For every hour that I work over 12 hours a week at the same rate of pay as my last job, each pound is deducted from my pension.
    Even crazier, if I went to work for an agency, or a charity, anywhere that is not a local authority, I can earn as much as I like.
    They say it's to stop people getting big pensions then the next day getting another local authority job and earning twice, but in my case (and others I've heard of) there's no way I can take advantage of improved technology to get myself off benefits.
    Martin, yours is a brilliant site and I think you're fab on telly and radio too!
    So I can't work for a local authority more than 12 hrs weekly, which isn't enough to take me off benefits.
  • sheenaf
    I also survived redundancy financially although the emotionally scars are still with me. I was the main breadwinner, husband self employed with erratic earnings. I think the main reason we survived was that we HAD NO DEBT at
    the time other than a miniscule 23yr old mortgage. I tried to live day to day on the jobseekers allowance, using up stuff in the larder, all meals home made etc. took the opportunity to turn over the garden to fruit and veg (this work is still paying dividends) and went 'wooding' , building up a log pile for the next winter. My redundancy payment was the bare minimum = 1 months salary and this, together with last working months salary + holiday pay owing, just covered fuel bills, council tax, ect. I had extensive IT skills, self taught over many years and went to local college (free) took 7 certificated modules in 3 months so that I had the paper qualifications that employers demand. I applied for umpteen jobs with no luck. Young bosses don't want a highly experienced 55 year old who may well know more than they do! I managed to pick up bits and pieces of work (1 day as film extra pays £100; Berry picking hardly pays but you bring home enough berries for a year's supply of jam. Eventually got a part-time job, with 1 week of job seekers still to go. Kept applying for jobs and eventually got a proper full-time one. No Holidays for 2 years, made do with very old car, nothing added to retirement savings, no home improvements, no new clothes, but we survived. Does change your attitude tho'. I retired asap - much prefer the simple life - less income, but less expense and out of the back biting, dog eat dog, rat race that is today's workplace.
    TOP TIP - Ask for something useful for your leaving present! or even money!
    I got a highly expensive set of crystal glasses and decanter, which remained in their box until I recycled them as a wedding present. Ask for fruit bushes, a plum tree, a slow cooker, or, as above, your works computer.
  • martini99
    Make your last day of service a Sunday or Bank Holiday so you get paid for it without having to turn up for work and ask for pay in lieu of notice.

    If at all possible, agree a redundancy date early on in the tax year so you have the full personal allowance to offset your settlement.

    If you are in a pension scheme, make sure you contribute the maximum if your settlement exceeds the £30k tax free limit. You will get tax relief on the pension contributions.

    If you are in a final salary pension scheme and you have to pay tax on some of your settlement, ask your employer to pay some of your settlement as a salary enhancement (special responsibility allowance or whatever you can agree on). You still pay tax on it but it boosts your final salary and therefore your pension when you come to draw it. If you are on an incremental pay scale, ask to be put at the top effective from 1 April with the cost being part of your settlement.

    If you have a company car that your employer leases, ask to keep it until the end of the lease term. Your employer will likely face early termination penalties so may be happy enough to let it run on. Also ask for the laptop and mobile phone.

    Get a written reference before you leave.

    Finally, donít underestimate the strength of your position Ė your employer probably isnít enjoying this any more than you are so make the most of their discomfort.
  • asm1
    Redundancy options
    If your company goes into liquidation (and you are therefore made redundant): an RP1 form might be your friend.

    It takes a little while to get the cash (from memory 8 weeks) but you are entitled to it.
  • ukpobrien31
    At times like this it's great to hear other peoples stories, what they've been through, what they are going through, how they've coped and what the final outcome was. My redundancy situation has been dragging on for nearly fifteen months!!! -- Can you believe that?

    My manager was put at risk of redundancy in the early part of last year and finally left on July 4th 2005. The following day -- July 5th -- I was served my at risk of redundancy notice also. The best thing about it was, that day all the managers had been coming and going out of the directors office all day -- annual cost of living pay review -- so I thought nothing of it when I was called into the office. He said nothing to me but just slid a letter across the table in my direction. The way the letter was written -- well put it this way, I expected to have the conversation first and then to be given the letter later on in the day as confirmation of the earlier conversation, but no, just the letter and me having to read it for myself.

    Of course the first thing I did was to question the timing of the letter -- why now? Why the day after my manager was made redundant? But all he could say was that they tried to hold out as long as they could but that this was now the situation! The thing was that had I come back from a secondment at another depot and had been back for four months without hardly doing a thing, so I guess it should not have been a surprise really. What was surprising, however, was the length of time that events eventually took to unfold -- asking the question each week about what was happening and never getting an answer. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months -- so much so that in the end I had to visit the quack as I wasn't eating, I couldn't sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time, I was getting chest pains -- I think you get the picture. Now having never had a day sick since I had started with the company -- now fifteen years ago -- it came as a great surprise when the doc said that he was going to sign me off for eight weeks!!! He said that something needed to be taken out of the stress equation or else I would just make things worse -- so that something was me!!!

    To be honest it was the best thing that I could have done -- I took his advice and chilled out. I finally returned to work in February -- no sooner was I in the door when I was called to a meeting to be told that my role no longer existed and as such I would be put on redundancy notice starting with the thirty day consultation period. So I went home.

    I was soon called back to help out on another contract and when that finished I was called back at the of April to be told that they would be letting me go and that they would pay me my redundancy and my lieu of notice (three months). Of course I asked how much this would be based upon my fifteen years with the company only to be told that I would be getting statutory!!! This was a complete surprise to me as my contract was based on an enhanced redundancy package. When I mentioned this I was told that there was nothing on my file regarding any enhanced security of employment document -- funny that!!! So I produced the relevant copies. I wish I had a camera at that moment as you could physically see the blood drain from their faces!!!

    I must point out that during the whole process I had my union rep with me. I wont give details here (you can e-mail me for details if you so wish) but I have been a member for 6 years and pay a yearly fee for this service -- it has been worth every penny and would I highly recommend doing this for anyone in or soon to be in a similar redundancy situation as this. I then put it to them that rather than letting me go, why not put me on garden leave for the three months. All though I might not be required to work I could still be available should the need arise and I would still get paid and I could be looking for a new job at the same time. This they agreed to do.

    Halfway through my garden leave I received a phone call to go and work on another contract. Whilst I was there I applied for a job, had the interview and eventually go the job. My garden leave finished on 21st July but the new job didn't officially start until 31st July so they treated it like a secondment until I started the new role. My previous role had a company car attached but I was told that I would have to give this up, as the new role had no such requirement. Things went from bad to worse when I received the offer letter and terms and conditions documents in the post. The redundancy section clearly stated
    that in any event I would only ever be entitled to statutory. This I questioned straight away and was told that they would not accept my enhanced package, as they could not take on that sort of liability.

    I questioned this with my union rep that basically told me that they were within their rights to do this. He did ask me what was said about terms and conditions at the interview. The thing is, nothing was said to me and I never asked as I just assumed, whether rightly or wrongly that as I would be working for the same company that everything would be as it was before, except for the car of course. Not the case!!!

    I have thought long and hard about this but to be honest it is a no brainer really. The role comes with a standard three-month trial period. If I stay in the role after the three months then I will have deemed to have taken the role on a permanent basis in which case I accept the new redundancy terms as offered. This means that if I am there for example, another five years, which would give me twenty years service and then something happens which puts me in another redundancy situation then I will only ever walk away with about three or four thousand pounds. However, and as I am doing, if I hand my notice in before the end of the three month trial period, then my termination reverts to my previous role, in which case I walk away with my enhanced redundancy package and approx. fifteen thousand pounds -- I just have to bite the bullet and take my chance in the job market place.

    Hopefully I will find something quickly. I am registered with about fifteen online agencies -- but I have also worked out my outgoings and worse case scenario based on my final redundancy package.

    I think the thing for me is getting used to the whole idea of interviews and job seeking!!! It just seems a bit bizarre having worked for same company for so long since I left college. Now 34 years old, thatís almost half my life with one company!!!

    Youíll have to excuse my diatribe, I can go on a bit Iím afraid Ė but I hope it helps; it has certainly made me feel better writing about it anyway!

    Thanks for your time.



    P.S. Ė if anyone out there works in Logistics and knows of any suitable positions then please let me know and I can forward my CV on.
    • qprfact
    • By qprfact 4th Oct 06, 1:30 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I have just been served my redundancy notice (hence my interest in this thread), and although I haven't got much I think I can add in the way of useful information, I think I should just point out about the payment protection aspect (I work(ed) in insurance, and used to manage this product).

    If you apply for insurance knowing that you are likely to be made redundant, or even that redundancies are likely, then it is entirely possible that any claim will be turned down (it's called "anti selection"). If it came to it, the fact that you were ineligible for cover SHOULD mean you get your premiums back, but that's not guaranteed.

    Also, most PPI policies now do not cover voluntary redundancy. If you've got one that does, then obviously that's good, but if you have to volunteer for redundancy, and do so thinking your insurance will kick in, you should definitely check your policy wording first.

    Just a note of caution! Sorry to be raining on anyone's parade!
  • katiebowl
    I was made redundant in May. It was a very stressful time as my boss tried to get out of paying any notice period pay (I'd been in the job less that 12 months and therefore not entitled to any redundancy). I found speaking to ACAS (a government funded advisory agency who specialise in redundacy and employment relations). They were very helpful and gave me lots of advice about what I was legally entitled to and how to go about getting it! Their telephone number is 0845 7474747

    Also, my boyfriend (who is in fact, my very own resident 'Martin') nagged me for the 12 months prior to start saving a little money each month. So when I lost my job, I did at least have 3 months 'grace' in savings to pay my mortgage and bills. So yes, I know its boring and I can't believe I'm saying this but, I highly recommend that everyone puts away a little money each month, so if the worst does happen, you can at least pay bills, eat and focus on getting another job. I actually used the time to up set my own business with a friend (which is going well). So in fact I'm grateful for getting made redundant but even more grateful for having a bit of savings set aside so I could grasp the opportunity to do something I really wanted!!
    • Aril
    • By Aril 4th Oct 06, 1:51 PM
    • 1,883 Posts
    • 16,771 Thanks
    We went through this last year when my OH was made redundant having been with with the same co for 20 years. We had already survived several rounds over the years and knew when it did happen that he would have to do something completely different. I would say don't bury your head in the sand but do think realistically what you will do if it happens to you. Also at one point we applied for voluntary [we were turned down that time] do check any redundancy insurance policies you may have...ours didn't cover voluntary redundancy.
    On another linked but slightly different angle I work for a training centre and do a lot work with people who have lost their job. There is some free IT training available [although conditions apply like qualification level, benefits received etc etc] check with your job centre if you qualify. I would strongly recommend that you line something even if it's updating your skills whilst job hunting. I have seen how quickly people become depressed and lose confidence.
    Remember that although it is an incredibly stressful event it is manageable. We were lucky because we had reasonable savings and a low mortgage but we still have a child to bring up. IMO flexibility is key.
    Hope this is of help
    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!
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