There is never a good time to be made redundant coming at either an inconvenient time or a complete shock to many employees.  However, despite this they are ways in which you can turn such a stressful event in your career around, knowing how to deal with redundancy in a positive way is an important attribute many employees need to learn.

With today’s economic environment being in such a state of flux, redundancies can come from a range of situations from mismanagement through to increased trading conditions affecting company profits, resulting in firms reducing the size of their workforce in order to meet and compete with these threats.

We have put together a list of the most important need- to- know factors in dealing with redundancy, from what to do on hearing the news to who to turn to for advice.

Golden rules to remember on hearing about being made redundant:


Try to stay calm - Although you are probably overwhelmed with emotion, panicking at this stage will not reverse or help the situation.

Try to remain positive - One tactic many people use in order to cope with redundancy is to view it as a means to pursue a new career path. Maybe you have always dreamt of setting up our own business, now may be the spark that you needed.

Look to the future and not the past - You will not be able to change the decision, mentally if you work towards building yourself and your future up again it will be more beneficial for you.

Be honest about your situation with loved ones - Unfortunately many people may deal with redundancy with a sense of shame and embarrassment, even though the situation remains outside of their control. Your family and friends could provide you with the level of support you need to help guide you through this period, therefore always be honest with them. Remember that the worst situation has already happened to you, so excluding others from fear of their reactions may only exacerbate the situation and will not give you the self-confidence you need to move on.

You MUST not

Feel is was your fault or something which you have done - You are unlikely to be made redundant due to your individual performance, but rather the position that you held was no longer viable. Companies will only seek to lay off staff as a last resort.

Feel that you are alone in your situation - Unfortunately most of us will experience redundancy at some point in our lives, the volatile economies of today make it a more frequent occurrence.

Panic - This one speaks for itself. Never say or do anything which may compromise your further chances of employment, such as scorning your employer. Step back and take stock of the situation before making any major decisions such as future career direction. You will be better placed to make rational judgments with a clear head.

Important things to remember after being made redundant:

  1. Make sure that you collect your P45 from your employer
  2. Request all of the necessary details such as your redundancy package, outstanding holiday entitlement, contact details of your manager, trade union representative, HR department and/or company pension fund details.
  3. Find out what you are entitled to, as an employee placed in the situation of being made redundant, the law seeks to offer you varying degrees of protection, therefore knowing your rights and what you are entitled to will help you to overcome your predicament.
  4. Seek professional advice from advisors, there are organisations with offer employees’ meaningful and free advice on what to do next. Trying to deal with the complex world of redundancy is never easy on your own, so professional bodies can explain your rights and financial options objectively. The government provides such a service through its website  also consider the Citizens Advice Bureau they have guides written specifically for redundancy and offer free and impartial advice .
  5. Contact your trade union representative as they should be able to explain a range of issues more clearly to you, use them to find out if your employer has followed the correct procedures and has given you the right notice period.
  6. Find the contact details from a tried and trusted independent financial advisor, they will be able to offer you practical advice to getting your money in order so you can budget more effectively through this difficult time.
  7. Seek careers advice and/or counselling from your employer if they are offering it to their employees. Some firms’ offer their staff free retraining courses that seek to find them alternative work it is best to ask if this is the case.

Dealing with redundancy is never an easy bridge to cross, but it is important for anyone placed in this situation to know that there is professional help at hand, to make the pain slightly more bearable. So perhaps redundancy is not seen as then end, but rather as an opportunity to start a whole new career path.

Written by Jennifer Megafu 

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