Redundancy is painful – there’s no way around that fact. However, if you know your rights, you can manage your time and resources more effectively and make your job hunting efforts work for you.
Employees under notice of redundancy have the right to:
Sufficient notice (30-90 days)
Receive SRP up to £12,000
Accrued holiday pay
Be offered suitable alternative employment wherever possible.
Have a trial period in the alternative employment without losing their right to an SRP.
Reasonable time off on full pay for job-hunting or to arrange training.
Not be unfairly selected for redundancy. Employees normally need at least one year’s service to claim unfair dismissal. However, if an employee is selected for redundancy on certain grounds, their dismissal will be automatically unfair and they do not need a minimum amount of service.
What does this really mean? First, it gives you a certain amount of financial cushion to work with, so the pressure to find a job immediately (i.e., to take whatever you can find) is less. It affords you the opportunity to look for a new position that you really want as opposed to taking whatever is offered, whether or not it is right for you.
Second, whilst you are under notice (and still receiving your regular salary), you have time to prepare and put thought into what you would like to do and achieve in your next position. Ask yourself a few questions:
Am I happy with the job I am in?
Am I happy in my industry?
Is there something else I would like to do?
Is it time to reach higher and try to advance?
Would I be better served taking some time off to obtain more education?
Answering these questions will help direct how you approach a job search and help you create a reasonable time table for getting results. If your main interest is in obtaining a similar position as soon as possible, you will need to assemble your resources and organise your efforts quickly. This is where seeking the assistance of a recruiter can really benefit you. On average, you will receive more interviews faster if you are using the services of a recruiter. Recruiters help fast track your CV and get you into an interview much more quickly than doing things on your own.
If you are looking to change positions or would like to advance within your field, expect your search to take longer. You may even need to obtain more education to bring yourself in line with other candidates competing for those same positions. This does not mean you need to return to university for four years – you can avail yourself of coursework and seminars that train you in specific skills, such as managing people, managing projects, motivating employees and the like. These types of courses are beneficial when you have a number of years of experience in your field but lack management experience. This will help lay the foundation for making a move into a management position.
Use the time and resources provided to you by law wisely. Make sound decisions about your career and you will be re-employed in a position that will be rewarding and fulfilling.