Fonseca Law Solicitors

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Faced with redundancy while on furlough

block man at desk - Image by www_slon_pics from PixabayAs furlough slowly tapers back, many employees are facing the possibility - or for some, the inevitable outcome - of redundancy. Many employers are finding it difficult to afford the salary costs and other various overheads now that they are being asked to contribute towards employee wages, so this will no doubt see a rise in the number of people being made redundant over the coming weeks and months.

Fingers crossed this will be temporary as the world hopes to slowly return to normal, which one would expect should lead to more and more job openings becoming available for those being made redundant to walk into. However, if you are facing redundancy or have recently been made redundant, it’s important to understand the redundancy process and what your rights are.

Being made redundant while on furlough

The government passed a law on July 31st, 2020, which means that any redundancy payout will not be effected if the employee being made redundant is on furlough. The payout should remain the same as if they were working regular hours throughout the furlough period.

Employees are still entitled to receive the statutory notice period for redundancy, and regardless of whether the employee is working their notice, on furlough or on a flexible furlough, they are to receive their full wage for the notice period.

An employer can rightfully ask employees to use their annual leave during this time, but this will mean they have to give the employee twice as many days’ notice as the leave they are asking them to take.

An employee’s notice period is a week for every year they have been employed with the company, from 2 years to a maximum of 12 years. So, if an employee has been with a company for more than 12 years, the employers need only provide the maximum 12 weeks’ notice.

An employer is required to make redundancies based on fair grounds and they must be objective, but it’s important to recognise that having been on furlough may mean there is a clear lesser need for your job within the company and your role may therefore be more at risk.

What to do when you’ve been made redundant

The best thing to do when you’ve been made redundant is to follow a few simple steps to come to terms with what has happened as quickly as possible and move forward in a positive way.

1. Process everything you are told

Take on board all of the information you have been given and make sure you fully understand why you have been made redundant. Ensure you’re aware of the notice period, the redundancy pay you’re entitled to and expect to receive, whether unused holidays are included in the payment, and whether there is an alternative role within the company that you could be moved to. If you’re working a notice period, you should also question whether you’ll be allowed time off during this time to find a new role elsewhere by attending interviews etc.

2. Don’t make any instant reactions or decisions

Following redundancy, people are likely to feel emotional and may take it personally. It’s always advisable to not burn any bridges with your employers. Redundancy tends to be a difficult process for both the employee and the employer so try to remain calm and professional throughout. Most prospective new employers are likely to request references from past employers, so receiving a positive one from your most recent role, even if they made you redundant, can be extremely helpful when seeking a new job.

3. Update your CV

Once you’ve processed the information and understand your rights and where you are with everything, you can begin looking to the future. This can start with updating your CV and LinkedIn profile, and perhaps looking into any potential government funding for courses you may be interested in - if you’re in Wales, you may be entitled to funding through the ReAct Wales scheme. Brush up on your interview techniques and use this as a way to improve yourself and to start a new chapter - it can be exciting time.

4. Look for career opportunities

Now that you’re all up to date with your experiences and the direction you’d like to move in going forward, get your name and your CV out there and start applying for job opportunities that take your fancy. Network as much as possible with people you know and recruitment agencies who specialise in your field of work, and if your skills allow you to work on a freelance basis, see what freelance work may be available even if you’re still on the hunt for secure full-time employment.

Here at Fonseca Law we offer a range of professional legal services, from employment law and conveyancing to family law and divorce and much more. To discuss how our team of expert solicitors can help, get in touch with us today by calling 01495 303124, e-mail enquiries@fonsecalaw.co.uk or complete our online contact form.