Coronavirus Redundancies: What to do next?

Redundancy is a word that no employee ever wants to hear. But unfortunately, being made redundant will become a harsh reality for many employees over the coming weeks and months, as their employers fight to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was introduced to help businesses avoid redundancies and to remain viable, by enabling employers to put their employees on furlough during the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme has since been extended until the end of October 2020, however, it is expected to start operating on a reduced basis.

So rather than being able to claim an 80% grant from the CJRS as they have done previously, employers will be encouraged to start bringing staff back to work part-time and required to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed employees from 1st August 2020.

With only a few months to go until this is implemented, employers will be considering whether they can continue business as usual once the CRJS support is reduced and eventually removed. Ultimately, it’s inevitable that some employers will be left with no choice but to consider redundancies, whether through a need to reduce costs or due to the closing of all or just certain parts of their organisations. 

What to do if you’ve been made redundant

If you’ve just found out that your employer is making you redundant due to the coronavirus, you’ll undoubtedly be feeling anxious about what impact this will have on you and your family. It’s never convenient to be made redundant; even more so when we’re in the wake of a global pandemic when the future continues to be so unknown.

While you may be feeling rejected and upset, now is the time to act, not to wallow. Here’s our advice for accepting your coronavirus redundancy and what you should be doing now to start moving forward.

Try not to panic

Whether it came entirely out of the blue or you’ve been expecting it, being made redundant can understandably cause you to panic. While it may be easier said than done, it’s vital that you try to remain as calm as possible.

From paying your mortgage to doing your weekly food shop, financial concerns are bound to be a major concern for you right now. Even if you’ve had a redundancy package and savings to fall back on in the meantime, they won’t last forever. So to help you gain control over what has happened, the first thing you need to do is assess your finances. This will give you a clearer picture of what you may need to cut back on for the time being, as well as giving you a timeframe for your job search.

It can also be beneficial to talk to people in your network who have either gone through redundancy previously or are in the same boat as you now. Just having someone to talk through who understands how you’re feeling can make a world of difference.

Consider this as an opportunity

It may not feel like it right now, but this could be an opportunity to try something new. Spend some time thinking about your career to date and whether or not you’d like to continue doing the same kind of role or if you’d like to move into a different role or sector entirely.

Depending on your skillset and experience, you might want to think about starting a new career as a freelancer or contractor or starting that business you’ve been talking about for years. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn or improve a certain skill but never had the time to do it because of your work commitments.

If your financial situation isn’t an immediate concern and you’re seriously considering pursuing a new career, spend time researching your dream role, what jobs are currently out there and where the demand currently is. You should also reach out to your network to see if there are any projects you can help them with or if they can make some introductions for you. If you want or need to upskill to pursue a new career, also invest time in attending webinars and online training sessions with industry experts.

Create a job search routine

It’s understandable that you might need some time to consider what your next step is and to come to terms with what has happened. But try not to hold off on your job search for too long. With many people being made redundant across key industries, competition for jobs is only like to increase in the coming months. So, it’s best you adopt a regimented job hunting approach which will provide some structure to your day and help you be more efficient in your search.

Set aside time each morning to focus on your job search and continue to follow this routine for the foreseeable future. This should include setting up job alerts on recruitment and industry websites, checking jobs boards, careers pages and social media channels for potential opportunities and continuously tailoring and updating your CV.

You should also consider getting in touch with a recruiter who caters to your industry for some additional help in your search. They can give you the inside scoop as to who is hiring and explore different avenues for you that you may not have considered before. They can also provide you with valuable advice on things such as video interviews and remote working, both of which are increasingly popular due to the pandemic induced lockdown.

Now is also a prime time to build your social network presence and use it to network with people within your industry. Update your LinkedIn profile with all of your latest skills and experience from your latest role and change your status to show that you’re “looking for opportunities” to make recruiters and your network are aware. It can also be beneficial to share relevant topical posts and to start discussions that showcase your expertise, as this can catch the attention of prominent figures within your industry.

Being made redundant during such an uncertain and unpredictable time in nobody’s idea of fun. But the silver lining is that you’ll be stronger because of this experience and gain a new perspective of what you want from your career going forward. With perseverance, a positive attitude and a tenacious approach to your search, you’re firmly on the path to success.

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Ben Gosling

23rd June

Career Advice