Redundancy is a dismissal but unlike other dismissals it is one for which the employee was in no way responsible or culpable. The employer bears the responsibility since they have too much productive capacity for the current demand for products or services. There is at the very least a moral responsibility placed on the employer when dispensing with employees in this situation to try to find, or assist them in finding, alternative work.

Employer Assistance
Having determined who is to be made REDUNDANT a responsible employer should at least consider if there are ways in which support and assistance can be provided for those forced out of a job. This could include:

  • Paper assistance guiding those seeking jobs.

  • Administrative internal assistance.

  • Contacting local employers, obtaining vacancy lists for leavers.

  • Career counselling.

  • Encouraging, possibly with offers of short-term contracts, redundant employees to set up their own businesses.

  • Guidance for Those Leaving
    This following checklist has been designed primarily to help shop floor employees and some items will need reconsideration for use by senior and/or experienced employees.

    1. Keep your notice letter safely, as it gives information on a number of items that you may need to refer to in the coming weeks. Write your National Insurance number on the letter for ease of reference.

    2. If you wish to continue working you will need to either obtain another job from your own resources (replying to advertisements, contacts etc.,) or use the Job Centre. If you wish to use the Job Centre look up the address in the telephone directory. You will need to register using Form ES1 from the Centre.

    3. If you cease work before the end of your notice period (in other words you are given pay in lieu of notice) this does not stop you registering with the Job Centre. Neither does it stop you registering for the Jobseekers Allowance. However, you will not be eligible for the Allowance until the expiry of your notice period.

    4. Even though (since you have been paid wages in lieu of notice) you may not be eligible for benefit for some weeks it is worth registering immediately

    5. To register as a Jobseeker you will need to take your P45 (this will be given to you with your redundancy money and final wages etc., on the day you cease work) and the information set out in your notice letter.

    6. Any accrued holiday pay will be paid plus salary/wages in lieu of notice and the redundancy amount due. Holiday pay is taxable. Wages in lieu of notice (provided this arrangement is not included in your contract of employment) and redundancy payments (up to £30,000) are not usually taxable.

    7. Neither holiday pay nor redundancy affect any benefit due. Jobseekers Allowance is payable on a per week basis for full N.I. payers (plus an added amount per week for a dependent relative) for the period after your notice expires except for the first 3 days.

    8. You may be additionally entitled to supplementary benefit which depends on your income and savings. To claim such benefit you will have to provide the Department of Work and Pensions with a statement of your income and outgoings.

    Finding New Employment
    The purpose of these notes is to remind you of a few points that may help improve your chances of getting a new job. However, unless you start with a positive attitude - putting the redundancy behind you - your chances of getting a new job may be severely restricted. Experience has shown that provided they have the right (positive) attitude, over 90% of employees made redundant go on to a better position.

    Which Job do I Want?
    Most people tend to drift into jobs, and even from one job to another, without thinking which job they would really like to do. Leaving a job at a time not of your choosing but with a little money may be an opportunity to stop and consider the job you would prefer to do. Talk about any such preferences at the Job Centre and to friends - it may help sort out the kind of job that will most appeal to you. Inevitably, not everyone can find their ideal job - but it is a starting point.

    Finding a Job
    Before you get a job you must first get an interview, which may be the most difficult part of getting a job. Check (and keep checking):

  • the Job Centre (register first, and then check daily);

  • local papers (get to the shop as soon as they are delivered);

  • relatives, friends, colleagues, local traders; and

  • local shops, businesses, factories (keep checking - your persistence may pay off).

  • Application Forms
    Completing an application form is a bit of a chore but it must stand out from the rest of the forms that a Personnel Manager may receive in one day.

    1. Before completing it, read it through and gather all the information you will require.

    2. If you are not used to completing this type of form, write the answers to the questions on a piece of paper first (check the spellings of words of which you are unsure).

    3. Use a black pen and check to see if it asks you to use BLOCK CAPITALS. If is does then USE THEM.

    4. Complete the form carefully and clearly.

    5. Give as much information as you can - single word answers to questions such as 'why did you leave?', do not tell the reader very much.

    6. Include all your personal achievements, for example:

  • first aid course passed (date);

  • member of Parent Teachers Association;

  • member of the Territorial Army; and so on.

  • 7. Keep the form clean and uncreased.

    8. Send it back (first class) with a short covering letter:

    Dear _________________

    I enclose an application form for the job of .which I understand is vacant. I will be pleased to attend for interview assuming you wish to take my application further. I look forward to hearing from you,

    Yours sincerely

    9. Make sure your letter is clean, clear and uncreased.

    10. Take a copy of the form and letter if possible, your application form is you on paper. For the reader to be interested, he/she needs to find the form interesting. If your application form is untidy, dirty and carelessly filled in, it gives the same impression of you and will probably move no further than the waste paper basket. It is worth taking time to complete it as well as you can.

    Going for the Interview
    1. Make sure you know exactly where you have to go and what time. If you are unsure about directions telephone the employer and ask. Check on bus etc., times beforehand.

    2. Dress tidily and neatly.

    3. Aim to arrive 15 minutes before the time of the interview - better to be 15 minutes early than 15 seconds late.

    4. Take your copy of the application form and a pen with you.

    5. Make sure you know the name of the person you are going to see - if you do not hear it properly ask for it to be repeated and make a note on your application form copy.

    6. During the interview make notes of the details the interviewer tells you - rate of pay, hours, holidays etc.

    7. If the interviewer asks if you have any queries try to think of one or two. You could ask:

  • 'Is this job permanent?'

  • 'Will I be given any training?'

  • 'Would I always work in the same department?', and so on.

  • Remember that an interview is a two way enquiry. The employer wants to know about you to see if you would make a suitable employee, but you also want to know about the employer - is it one with which you wish to work?

    Leaving the Interview
    Take careful note of how the interview is left - are they going to write to you, and if so, when? Also be careful to note if the interviewer asks you to do anything - and if he/she does, then make sure you do it.

    Most employers will ask for details of previous employers to whom they can write, in order to obtain a reference. Keep a note of the person's name, telephone number and address who can provide a reference for you.

    Internal Support

    It may have been some time since those made redundant had to apply for and be interviewed for a job. They may benefit from a short internal course run by the organisation own personnel recruiters, who could guide them on the submission of applications and their conduct at interviews etc. Taking this one stage further the Organisation has available all the office facilities which many applicants will lack - copier, fax, word-processing facilities, even a telephone. Making such resources available to leavers for say 6–8 weeks at a set time each week may provide not only valuable administrative support, but also some moral support from their erstwhile employer.

    There have been some notable instances where those made redundant have created businesses of their own. In some cases they were able to start firstly, since they had a tax free lump sum from their redundancy payment and the old employer enabled them to start their fledgling business with a shortterm contract. Providing guidance to those who want to set up on their own, either internally or sourcing external assistance can be very valuable - and highly valued. Such assistance will be noted by the survivors, demonstrating to them that their employer is trying to help. This in turn should support their morale. It is often overlooked that they may need support, since not only have they lost friends and colleagues but also they may have new challenges and additional work. Most people are creatures of habit who dislike change.