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Ackroyd Legal

By Carlin Peton

It is inevitable that over time, businesses will need to reconsider how they organise labour and redundancies may be necessary. Although that should not detract from the fact that redundancy is stressful, difficult and often uncertain.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is when you are dismissed from your job because the position is no longer available. Knowing this is key to understanding what redundancy is because if someone is replacing you in the role you lost, it is not redundancy.

You employer needs to demonstrate how the position no longer exists at the company. This can be the result of many things.

What is voluntary redundancy?

This occurs when your employer is giving you a choice. Voluntary redundancy is when your employer asks you to terminate your contract. As the name suggests, it is not compulsory.

Usually, employers offer financial incentives known as redundancy packages for taking voluntary redundancy. Your rights are the same as someone who has been made redundant, even if you volunteered.

Why are people made redundant?

For redundancy to be genuine, your position should not be filled after you leave. Some grounds that employers have used in the past include:

  • New systems in the workplace
  • The company is relocating
  • The company is acquired by another firm

Steps to coping with being made redundant

  1. Know that it’s not personal

A redundancy is essentially the result of a business reassessing its strategy. When workers are made redundant, it is in no way a reflection of an individual’s capabilities or work skills.

The process can be very exhausting, but it is important to assess the situation with a positive outlook.

  1. Decide if you want to take the settlement agreement

If you are offered a settlement agreement – some people don’t receive this – you will need to decide how you will proceed. Will you take the settlement, or negotiate its terms?

A settlement agreement is a contract that prevents an employee from bringing a claim against the employer. You may be familiar with golden goodbye, gagging clauses or termination agreements- these are all essentially other names for a settlement agreement.

  1. Sort your finances

After your redundancy, you may decide that you want a break from work to be comfortable with the idea that you’ve now lost your job. What is most important is organising your finances to make sure you are

  1. Polish your CV

During your time at your former job, you picked up on valuable skills and experience. If you have not updated your CV along the way, it is vital you do so.

Your knowledge is valuable, and you should use it to promote yourself when applying to jobs.

  1. Reach out

In a huge turn of events, employees who were made redundant all had jobs by the end of the same week. How?

They gave each other references and helped their former colleagues with their job applications.

Redundancy does not have to be embarrassing, it can be the wake-up call that puts you on the path of your dream career.