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Made Redundant While On Furlough? What You Need To Know

Jun 11, 2020

Being ‘made redundant while on furlough’ has sadly gone from being an unheard of phrase to one of the most popular Google searches of the year. The impact of Covid-19 has seen approximately 8.7 million people in the UK put on furlough. The furlough scheme introduced by Rishi Sunak was brought in to ease the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic on employers. Despite this, many industries have been forced to close or reduce operations leading to widespread redundancies.

Unfortunately, due to the scale of the pandemic many industries have been hit hard. This means that many workers are at an increased risk of being made redundant, even while on furlough. It is sadly the case that many will continue to lose their jobs over the coming months, even in long-standing industries such as travel and hospitality.

Today I want to share my thoughts as an executive coach on being made redundant while on furlough. Here is everything you need to know, along with proactive steps you can take to minimise the impact on your career.

Coronavirus Redundancy Risk

Even when we are not in the middle of a global pandemic, the risk of redundancy hangs over everyone who is an employee in a company to some degree. After all, if the economy suddenly faces challenges or the business is deemed to not be competitive enough – then savings need to be made. As harsh as being made redundant is (especially with the range of emotions it brings), it’s always good to be prepared.

Calculating your risk of redundancy can be tricky at the best of times. Though checking out which industries have been worst hit by coronavirus can give a better understanding of the more recent picture. Whatsmore, Brexit and automation are also likely to throw up some challenges in the near future too. The key here is to find out the situation with your particular industry as a whole. Always keep an up to date CV and try to identify any transferable skills you have. Doing so will make the transition into a new role much smoother should the worst happen.

What Happens If I Am Made Redundant While On Furlough?

If you are made redundant while on furlough because of coronavirus, you are in a unique position in that you are far from alone. While this doesn’t help in terms job competition, you are likely to gain a little more understanding from future employers. After all, you haven’t necessarily done anything wrong here. Many employers (such as supermarkets) have actually looked to fast track people who have been made redundant because of the current situation into roles. So in some cases it could work in your favour too.

Regardless of the circumstances of your redundancy, a fair redundancy process should still take place. The government has just updated their guidance for those who have been made redundant while furloughed using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). They state that employees who have been with the company for at least 2 years are entitled to the following:

  • 1.5 weeks pay for each full year of employment after your 41st birthday
  • 1 weeks pay for each full year of employment after your 22nd birthday
  • 0.5 weeks pay for each full year of employment up to your 22nd birthday

What To Do After Being Made Redundant

If you’ve just found out you are going to be made redundant, understandably you’re probably still in shock. You could also be worrying about how to pay the bills. Even though a lot of people are in your exact situation (especially if you’ve been made redundant while on furlough), that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to deal with. That being said, even though the chips are down right now what’s needed is a proactive approach to fix the situation.

As previously mentioned on other blogs, it’s very important to get networking and be sure not to burn your bridges with your now ex-employer. If you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile (or haven’t updated it in a while), now is the time to build contacts and be sure your experience is highlighted. You can even sign up for LinkedIn learning or post articles to your contacts. The key is to remain visible as much as possible. Remember that while we can’t meet face to face right now, networking isn’t off the table altogether!

By connecting with others, you might be surprised what opportunities come your way. This is especially the case if you have a positive, upbeat attitude in times of adversity. No, it’s not easy (in fact, it might be one of the most difficult things you’ve ever faced), but this is a challenge you are going to have to overcome. Try and open yourself up to different industries and job opportunities, even if it’s very different from your previous job. With the right attitude, you could actually land in a better spot than where you were before. Yes, really!

Need Some More Help?

Even if you were expecting it, redundancy can still come as a real shock to the system. As an executive coach, I help my clients to find their potential within their careers, as well as developing leadership skills. If you are currently feeling stuck in the current situation, I may be able to help by giving you the tools you need.  As someone with over 25 years of corporate experience I have helped clients at various stages of their career from many different industries.

I am currently offering virtual coaching sessions via Zoom or Skype that are available to clients located in the UK as well as internationally. Aside from executive coaching I can also help with wide range of issues you may be experiencing. Please get in touch and I will get back to you.

Are you ready to do more with your life?

Contact Paula now to discuss how she can support you.