If you have recently been made redundant, you may be concerned about finances, debts and whether you can retain your home. There are ways and means of mitigating the impact of redundancy, and there is help out there.
When you are being made redundant, you can apply for Jobseeker's Allowance to cover costs while you find your next job. You may also be entitled to a redundancy payment which can cover living costs until you are employed again.
The rules and regulations covering redundancy take in everything from notice period to holiday pay, statutory redundancy and payment dates. While there is no doubt that facing redundancy is a major challenge and concern, there are ways and means of realigning your finances and taking advantage of help available.
Continue reading to get all the nitty-gritty details and see if we can help.
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While employment contracts can vary, the absolute minimum statutory redundancy notice is at least one week if you have been employed between one month and two years. Thereafter it is one weeks’ notice for each year between two years and 12 years. If your employment term exceeds 12 years, then you will receive 12 weeks’ notice.
So, for example, if you had been with the company six years, then you would be entitled to one week for the first two years and four weeks for the additional four years, making a total of five weeks statutory redundancy notice.
Under current regulations, you will not be entitled to a redundancy payment if you have worked at a company for less than two years. After this, the level of redundancy is staggered as follows:-
|Age||Level of redundancy|
|Each year under 22||Half a week's pay|
|Age between 22 and 40||One week's pay|
|41 and over||1 ½ week's pay|
Some employment contracts will provide a higher remuneration in the event of redundancy so you should check your employment contract as soon as possible. To be clear, there is a difference between redundancy notice and the terms of redundancy pay.
In the event that your employer goes bust, you will still receive statutory redundancy which is funded by the national insurance fund. While there are limits on payments from this fund, it is possible to claim unpaid wages, holiday pay, statutory notice pay and any outstanding pension contributions.
It is worth taking advice on applying for redundancy payments if your employer has gone bust.
Under normal circumstances, your redundancy payment should be included in your final wage. There will be occasions where redundancy entitlement is made as a separate payment later on, but this would need to be agreed between employers and employees.
It really would depend upon the circumstances of the redundancy, has the employer gone bust or are they simply looking to reduce their workforce. Either way, your employer should keep you fully aware of the situation and timescales.
The first £30,000 of a redundancy payment is free of tax which includes not only income tax but also national insurance contributions. It is therefore advisable to check your last wage slip to ensure that no tax has been paid on your redundancy element.
The immediate reaction when facing redundancy is to slash spending to the bone potentially at the expense of existing debt repayments. While obviously a very difficult situation, it is very important to maintain a degree of control over your finances and expenditure.
The first thing to do is list all payments which need to be made each month such as credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, etc. You may have additional savings, an additional income in your household or you may be in line for a significant redundancy payment. You should look at reducing your outgoings but also ensure that priority expenses are protected as much as possible.
When employers are looking to reduce their workforce, they have to enter what is known as a consultation period which is between 30 and 45 days minimum before any dismissals take effect.
Therefore, assuming that redundancies were planned by your employer, you should have a minimum of 30 days before a decision is made. Your notice period would begin after the consultation has concluded.
In theory, as long as you can maintain your credit card payments going forward, then there is no reason you should lose your credit card. However, if you are only entitled to a minimal redundancy payment, have minimal savings and no other income stream in your household; you may struggle to maintain payments.
If there is a chance that you may struggle to make repayments going forward after your redundancy, then you should approach your credit card provider. There may be an opportunity to reduce your short-term repayments while you find your financial feet again. In the event that no agreement can be reached, and there is no prospect of new employment on the horizon, you may need to take debt management advice.
Upon receiving notice of redundancy, many people will automatically seek to pay off as many debts as possible using any redundancy payment. While very honourable, this may not be the best way forward in the short to medium-term.
Review your debts, your repayments what you may or may not be able to afford in the short to medium-term and make a plan. However, you must ensure that you place some of your redundancy payment to one side as an emergency fund. The last thing you need in the immediate aftermath of redundancy is ever-increasing financial pressure.
If your mortgage agreement includes payment protection insurance, then regular payments will be paid from your insurance for a set period of time in the event of unemployment. This should be detailed in your mortgage agreement.
If you acquired PPI with your personal loan, then you should be entitled to repayment cover in the event of unemployment. Despite the PPI mis-selling scandal, this is what PPI cover was designed for!
Thankfully there are various statutory levers built into the employment system with regards to redundancy notice and redundancy payments. Even in the event that your employer has gone bust, you should still be able to claim from the national insurance fund.
It is also advisable to review your finances and consider a form of debt management if you are facing a struggle to cover your immediate debt repayments.
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