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Dealing with redundancy

Redundancy isn't usually welcome, but it is something that happens to many of us during our working lives. However, it is not necessarily a negative situation to be in; many people have used it as an opportunity for positive change in their lives and careers. What is important is how you react to a situation which is not of your making.

Redundancies can be caused by any number of situations: falling profits, lack of trade or orders, increased competition, advances in technology, changes in legislation, even poor management are just a few of the many causes.

Remember, though, employers and companies don’t like making anyone redundant. It could mean that they, too, will become redundant.

Employees, however, have varying degrees of protection to help them overcome being made redundant. If you had resigned or given notice, that protection would not necessarily have been there.

This page will provide you with guidance in dealing with your situation.

Do's and don'ts


Being made redundant can be a shock but try not to rush into any hasty decisions. These pointers can help you get into the right frame of mind to deal with things:



  • keep calm
  • stay positive, see redundancy as an opportunity for change
  • focus on moving on, rather than looking back
  • take stock of your situation and look at your options
  • get advice from professional advisers
  • talk to your friends and family


  • take it personally – in reality, the job has been made redundant, not you
  • get too down about yourself – most people face redundancy sometime
  • panic, don’t make rash decisions
  • feel negatively about the company that made you redundant

One thing is certain: it's a time of change. Many of us find change a bit unsettling, but remember that it can also be for the better.

Practical things you must do straightaway


Important information on what to do if you are made redundant.

Before you leave your employer:

  • pick up your P45
  • get written details of your redundancy payment and package

Make a note of the contact details of your:

  • line manager
  • trade union representative
  • human resources department
  • pension fund trustees

If your employer offered any benefits such as health insurance, note the contact details of these too.

What extra benefits might my employer offer me?


Your employer might provide free careers guidance to help you decide on your next move. Some will offer money for training. Remember to ask.

Whatever they offer, make the most of it.

How do I find out what I'm entitled to?


Redundancy issues are complex. You should get help from a professional adviser who can explain your rights and look at your financial options.

You can get advice on redundancy issues from:

  • your trade union
  • professional bodies and associations
  • your local Citizens Advice
  • independent financial advisers
  • employment law experts

What if I feel upset about losing my job?


It's only natural to feel upset. It can be a stressful time but there are people who can help you cope. Remember that you can speak to a counsellor, who can help you make sense of what you're feeling, put things into perspective and support you in moving on. You can find one by searching the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's database.

Check with your employer, too, to see if they are part of the Employee Assistance Programme that provides free practical and emotional help to workers and their families who are going through difficult times.

What do I do next?


Don't rush your decision – although you might have concerns about money, a quick fix might not be the best way forward in the long term. Weigh up all your options carefully – this way you'll make the best decision.

You can find information on this site that can really help you to make more informed decisions about your future. Find courses that improve your skills, find information on hundreds of different types of job and advice on how best to get back into employment.


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Talk to an adviser

I just wish I'd heard about the National Careers Service sooner!

How can I get some extra help?

Our National Careers Service advisers are there to help you deal with redundancy.

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