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Job worries on your mind? You’re not alone: Virgin Money data from January 2021 reveals that nearly three quarters of our customers have money concerns at the moment, with one in four worried about their future job security. It’s a brutal time out there, with the Office for National Statistics reporting a record number of redundancies across the last three months (370,000). This means 1.69 million unemployed, and this number is expected to rise as Covid restrictions continue.

We understand that losing your job can be incredibly stressful, and you’re not always sure what your rights are or where you can go for reliable information. That’s why we wanted to highlight some handy resources for you to look should you need them.

1. Money Saving Expert Link opens in a new window

Martin Lewis, the main man behind this website, is a true consumer champion with a mission to break down complex issues so we can all understand them more easily. You’ll find this step-by-step guide to redundancy Link opens in a new window on his website, which is full of useful nuggets, such as how to prepare for redundancy, special coronavirus redundancy rules, what redundancy pay-out you’re entitled to and what to do if your company has gone bust. It even has a ready-made redundancy checklist for you to use.

Your legal rights

The legal rules surrounding redundancy are complex, and this is a MoneySaving, not an employment site, but in general terms the following should take place:

- Before redundancy you should've been consulted.

- You should be given the correct amount of notice.

- All untaken holidays should be paid.

- The company should have considered whether there was an alternative to redundancy. Is there another job in the firm you've the skills to do?

- The process for picking who is redundant should be fair. If the company decided to choose you on a discriminatory basis, then your redundancy is unfair, giving you grounds to complain and even sue.

Additionally, if more than 20 staff are to be let go, the law says there should be a period of collective consultation Link opens in a new window between the employer and ‘appropriate’ employee representatives (usually a union).

Money Saving Expert

2. GOV.UK Link opens in a new window

This is the official UK Government website and is as full of key facts and need-to-know information as you’d expect it to be. While it’s not quite as easy to digest or navigate around as some other sites, we found four hubs particularly helpful:

If you’re unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week you may be able to get New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

New Style JSA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit Link opens in a new window.

New Style JSA is a contribution based benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you’ve paid and/or been credited with enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the 2 full tax years before the year you’re claiming in.

If you qualify, you can get New Style JSA for up to 182 days. After this your work coach will talk to you about your options.

If you qualify for both New Style JSA and Universal Credit, any New Style JSA you receive will be taken into account as income for Universal Credit.


3. Refinery29 Link opens in a new window

This website is predominantly known for covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle stories, and is very popular with women in their 20s and 30s, but it also has a lot of brilliant content themed around money (including the addictive Money Diaries series). Its ‘Everything You Need To Know If You’ve Lost Your Job’ Link opens in a new window article is insightful and explores softer topics that are nonetheless important and relevant, such as how to tell people you’ve been made redundant and how to deal with redundancy and mental health.

How do I deal with redundancy and mental health?

For a generation subliminally indoctrinated into believing our self-worth is defined by how many unread emails we have, we’ve internalised a lot of career-based nonsense that can hit us like a train if we take a knock. If you are a millennial, becoming unemployed Link opens in a new window is very likely to cut you deep. Despite your role being terminated for purely economic reasons which have nothing to do with you, of course it's going to feel personal: you've poured your very being into a job that's turned its back on you. But there’s no point crying into your hustle harder pyjamas while staring blankly at your KeepCup. Once your self-worth is circling the toilet bowl there’s no job in the world that could bring you back. First things first: just take a moment. Look yourself in the mirror and say "My job is not my identity" 200 times.

If you qualify for both New Style JSA and Universal Credit, any New Style JSA you receive will be taken into account as income for Universal Credit.


4. This Is Money Link opens in a new window

Last but not least, we wanted to include this article from the This Is Money team Link opens in a new window. It contains simple but effective tricks you can use to make yourself more employable, such as learning a new skill, improving your CV and networking efficiently, and also reveals the sectors on the lookout for new hires so that you can channel your job-hunting into the right areas. Hopefully this will help you stand out and find a new job in 2021.

Prepare for video interviews

While getting interviewed from home may be convenient some thought and preparation must still go into it to create the right setting and ensure the interview goes ahead without any technical glitches. Sweiry says: 'Ensure that your environment is well-lit, distraction free with mobile phones switched off and that your home technology is working before you start – after all, first impressions still count. 'It's also worth remembering that although you're at home, it's still an interview, so be sure to wear professional, office-appropriate clothing. Having your CV in front of you can also help when being asked questions about your work history, so always keep that to hand.'

Laura Higgins

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