Redundancy: what to do and when

Toys R Us UK reportedly faces a potential collapse this week, which may mean the loss of 3,200 jobs. Being out of work can be difficult at any time of year but at Christmas, losing a job can be particularly hard. Here are our tips on what to do if you’re about to lose your job.

Don’t panic

If you’re pulled into a meeting and told that you’re losing your job – for whatever reason – you may be offered a settlement agreement. If the news comes as a shock, later it can be hard to remember what was said in the meeting. So, as soon as you can, write down what happened as this can help when you come to make a decision about what to do next.

What is a settlement agreement?

A settlement agreement is a formal agreement between an employer and an employee dealing with the settlement of claims that the employee may have arising out of his/her employment or its termination. Usually an employee accepts a sum of money in return for agreeing not to bring certain legal claims against the employer.

The agreement often uses legal terms and language that’s not commonly in use. Our Settlement Agreement Dictionary will explain what it means.

Get advice

If you’re facing this situation, you need some decent advice and fast. It is a legal requirement to get independent advice before you sign a settlement agreement, however, this is also about negotiation. Whether you are being offered a settlement agreement or not, an employment solicitor can help you consider whether you have any grounds for a claim against your employer – such as discrimination or unfair dismissal.

For a FREE confidential call with a qualified employment solicitor call: 0800 0639 900.

Sort out your income

Losing your job usually means you’ll have less money coming in. Until you can find a new job, you need to work out how you’re going to pay the essentials, such as mortgage payments or rent, utility bills and groceries. Check whether you have any payment protection insurance or short-term income protection policies that cover redundancy. If you do, make a claim straight away. You may also be entitled to benefits, tax credits and rebates while you are out of work. So, check what you’re entitled to and kick-start the process as soon as you can, as it can take time for the money to come through.

Exit well

Suddenly finding yourself out of work, particularly in circumstances completely out of your control, such as when a company collapses, can be distressing. However, steer clear of venting your emotion about your former employer on social media (if you’re signed a settlement agreement, there’s likely to be a confidentiality clause barring you from doing this) as it may well scupper your chances of getting a new job in the new year.