The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has supported numerous UK employees and workers since the government introduced it towards the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For many, it has been a financial safety net that has helped them through difficult times but sadly, it was inevitable that it was going to have to come to an end at some point,” explained Tine Chandler, an expert in Employment Law.
The scheme finally came to an end as of 30 September 2021.
According to Tine, many people will be feeling rather anxious about the end of the scheme and what it will mean for them and their employment in the future:
“With the scheme now having ended, many individuals who haven’t returned back to their normal working hours may be left feeling anxious about the months ahead and their continued employment.”
“Whilst some businesses have been able to utilise the scheme to navigate through the tough times, regrettably, there are still many businesses struggling from the effects of the pandemic and subsequent impact of numerous lockdowns.
“This will undoubtedly have the consequence of a percentage of the estimated one million employees and workers left on the scheme being made redundant from their roles, in the absence of alternatives.”
When asked about advice for those being made redundant as a result of the scheme’s closure, Tine said: “Losing a job can cause a great amount of stress, both financially and mentally, but it’s important that individuals try to look forward and start putting a plan in place.
“As an employee you have rights that can support you through these difficult times and it’s important you use them to your advantage.
“In most cases, employers will be extremely supportive and help you look for another position. However, if this isn’t the case for you, then hopefully the tips we have shared will provide you with the knowledge of what you’re entitled to and point you in the direction of the help out there, should you need it.”
Top 5 tips you should know if you’re made redundant once furlough ends
1 – You’re entitled to a notice period
No matter what your situation may be, your employer would normally allow you to work your contractual notice period once they have put you on notice of redundancy.
However, there may be occasions where your employer will instead make a payment in lieu of notice to you equivalent to your contractual notice period, or place you on garden leave for the duration of your notice period, or even part of this. It is advisable to review your contract of employment to see whether this confirms your employer has a right to make a payment in lieu of notice or place you on garden leave, and the respective arrangements.
2 – Ensure your employer offers you a consultation meeting
If you are being made redundant and have over two years’ service, your employer must hold genuine and meaningful consultation with you. As part of this, they should invite you to at least one consultation meeting and if this isn’t the case, it’s important that you push for one.
During this meeting you can obtain a better understanding as to why your employer is proposing to make your role redundant and the rationale behind this, propose potential alternatives to redundancy for consideration and ask any questions that you might have.
If there are multiple roles at risk of redundancy, you should also discuss the selection criteria with your employer so that you understand how you will be scored against others who are at-risk of redundancy.
3 – Clarify your redundancy pay
During consultation, make sure to ask for a breakdown of your redundancy pay, were you to be made redundant, how this has been calculated.
You should also check your contract of employment and any company policies to ascertain whether you should receive redundancy pay over and above the statutory amount.
Make sure to bear in mind that if you have been on furlough your pay may have been impacted prior to any potential redundancy, but this will not have any bearing on your redundancy payment.
Your full normal pay should be used when calculating redundancy pay however, this is subject to a statutory cap. If you think your redundancy pay has not been calculated correctly, you should seek the advice of a solicitor.
If you are made redundant, it is not just redundancy pay you will be entitled to, but any accrued but untaken holiday, any notice pay if a payment in lieu of notice is being made and any other sums you may be due by your employer.
4 – Use your notice period to look for a new role
If you are made redundant, you should not wait until the end of your notice period (if you are required to work this) to plan your next steps. During your notice period, you have the right to a reasonable amount of time off work to search for a new role and attend interviews. Your employer should be aware of this but if not, it’s important you highlight your rights as an employee.
It is important to remember that your employer is required to provide you with suitable alternative employment, should there be any roles available. This is a continuing requirement, and therefore this should be regularly assessed during your notice period as well as throughout consultation.
If you manage to secure a new role during your notice period, there is always the option to speak with your employer and see whether they will agree to waive the remainder of your notice period to allow you to start this new job early, if this is something you would like to do.
However, ultimately, if your employer does not agree to this, you are contractually obliged to work the full duration of your notice period.
You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help:
Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email email@example.com, in confidence
Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill
PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141
Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline but offers useful resources and links to other information on its website
Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit
Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. Has a website here and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58
5 – Seek professional help if needed
If you feel like you’re being unfairly treated during a redundancy process, you should consider speaking to a legal expert who can explore the situation with you in more detail.
Such treatment could stem from being unfairly selected for redundancy, the redundancy process itself not being fairly undertaken, or you not being given the right to appeal the decision to make you redundant.
There are a number of free services you can contact and people are on hand to give you the support you need.
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