Boss gave you the sack? What to do when facing redundancy.

By Natasha Culzac

Get the info you need to tackle a redundancy head on. You didn't want their poxy job anyway!

It’s not exactly fun being told that you’re surplus to requirements. But for whatever reason, if you find yourself being tossed aside thanks to a ‘departmental consolidation’, try to restrain yourself from flipping the middle finger at the HR manager. Instead, scream at your computer and then read our guide below on how to deal with redundancy effectively.

Know your rights

Make sure it’s all kosher and above board. According to the UK government, if you’re made redundant you may have certain rights, including:

- Redundancy pay

- A notice period

- A consultation with your employer

- The option to move into a different job – be aware that if you turn down a suitable alternative job with your employer, you may lose your right to statutory redundancy pay

- Time off to find a new job

Some of these might not apply to you, for example because you haven’t been in the job long enough to build up a redundancy payout. You might, however, find yourself benefiting from something not on that list: gardening leave. This is where you spend your notice period on the beach in Morocco because your company would actually rather you didn’t work your notice period where you could poach clients or initiate some serious sabotage.

It might seem obvious but you cannot be made redundant due to your age, sexual orientation, any disability or if you’re pregnant (in addition to many other reasons). If any of these apply to you, this could be unfair dismissal. Perhaps less obviously, it’s good to know that you also cannot be made redundant due to doing jury service, whistleblowing or taking part in lawful industrial action lasting 12 weeks or less.

Redundancy pay under £30,000 also isn’t taxable! Wahay.

…. bugger…. But how am I going to pay my rent?

So the proverbial has hit the fan. Your boss apologetically breaks the news that you’ll be given a small redundancy package and he/she fails to offer you another job elsewhere in the firm.

What do you do? Firstly, add up what remaining wages you can expect to see, as well as any redundancy payout and unused holiday pay. Then work out what your monthly outgoings are and see how long you can pay everything you need to, including debt repayments, without another job. Try and record your spending on food, clothes and toiletries etc so that you can draft a budget. Read our Money 101 article for tips on how to create one.

If you’ve not been made redundant yet, it’s a good idea to do a budget now and start building up an emergency fund in case something like this happens. Having an emergency fund will take the sting off and will give you some breathing space should you lose your job.

Can I benefit from benefits?

You may well be able to claim for things such as Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit, Council Tax support and potentially some help with your mortgage costs. Financial hardship charity Turn2us has an online benefits eligibility calculator where you can see what you may be entitled to. However, according to the Citizens Advice Bureau, your right to access benefits might be affected if you’re about to receive a redundancy payout. To claim JSA call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688 or submit online at: It’s best to do this as early as possible because there’s a lot of paperwork and administration and it can take weeks before your benefits start coming through.

For those on a low income, there are other charity, governmental and local council grants available – though some of these depend on whether you’re in an eligible postcode or not. Check out MoneySavingExpert’s list.


Forget those well annoying phone calls, if you’ve had a naughty lender add on Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) to a loan or credit card of yours without your knowing, you may actually be able to use it to your advantage. PPI is an insurance to cover you in case of accident, sickness or unemployment. Double check your credit products to see whether you’ve got this insurance because if you do, you may be able to make a redundancy claim on it.

There are other insurances, too. If you’ve not yet been made redundant but you’re concerned you might be, you may be able to get yourself covered for the cost of your debt repayments or even mortgage. The Money Advice Service explains more in detail here. The insurer won’t pay out if there has already been a redundancy announcement or rumour, nor will they pay out if you accept voluntary redundancy. Just be sure to read the fine print and make sure you shop around for policies.

Drum up some cash

If the purse strings are suddenly going to become a bit tighter, it makes sense for you to look around your home for any amazing savings that can be had. Read our Complete Guide to being home-saving savvy to see where you claw back pounds, such as by switching energy providers or phone networks.

Of course you can always start selling your second hand goods on eBay, but there are also other unorthodox ways of generating cash. For example:

Take in a language student – You will be financially compensated for the cost of hosting a language student, but if you’re already making lunches and dinners the money may go some way in helping to finance your expenses.

Private rental or AirBnB – Got a spare room? Think about renting it out full-time, but if that fills you with dread then there’s the possibility of putting it up on AirBnB if it’s in an area on tourists’ radars. Don’t forget to check the legal requirement around subletting a room – in September a court ruled that a leasehold flat owner couldn’t let their property out on AirBnB.

Join extras/commercial modelling agencies – It’s not as barmy as it sounds, actually. Household brands need all types of people for their advertisements and it’s not uncommon to earn £1,000+ for starring in a TV commercial. There are tonnes of reputable agencies around the UK looking for people of all ages and sizes. For example, UGLY in London and Bristol-based Gingersnap represent anything from people with whole-body tattoos, thug-looking men and amputees to older men and women. Don’t part with any money upfront and don’t expect the work to roll in straight away.

Asking for help

There are a bunch of places you can go for impartial advice. Worried about looming financial hardship or want some legal clarification? These are the organisations you need to talk to:

Citizens Advice Bureau – They have offices around the country where you can speak to someone, or you can chat to an adviser by phone or on web chat.

Turn2us – A national charity helping people to overcome financial hurdles, including assistance in applying for grants, benefits and support services.

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) – Free and impartial advice to employees on all things relating to the workplace and employment law.

Top Takeaway

It’s possible to protect yourself from some of the harshest parts of being made redundant by having a decent emergency fund behind you. The most important thing, though, is to be aware of your workers’ rights and to also know what financial assistance the state can give you and how you can make savings in your day-to-day life. Maybe the silver lining will be that you’ve finally been pushed into pursuing that creative career or business venture you’ve always wanted to.


By Natasha Culzac

Thanks to a journalistic career history and a childhood at Sylvia Young Theatre School, Natasha has her fingers in a few professional pies, doing her best impression of a model and actor as well as personal finance writer. Outside of work she compulsively watches BBC period dramas and constantly lies to herself that this year will be the year she learns French, once and for all.

Comments (0)

Log in or register to add your comment
Not a giffgaff member? Register now

giffgaff gameplan

Copyright ©2019 giffgaff

giffgaff Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number - 680957. Registered address – giffgaff Ltd, 260 Bath Road, Slough SL1 4DX. Company Number - 04196996.

Posts on this site reflect the opinion of the members posting only, and not necessarily giffgaff’s opinions or views. There’s a lot of information here that can help you, however, you must remember that we operate an open forum and sometimes messages that are posted are misleading, deceptive, or inaccurate. If you follow these tips, you do so at your own risk. Always do your research and check the terms.