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First steps to take if you are made Redundant in your 50s


Article by Ceri Wheeldon

Redundancy can be difficult at any age, but for those women facing redundancy in their  50s , the prospect can seem even more daunting, especially in the current economic climate.

Understand your redundancy payment

Once the initial shock has worn off, and you come to terms with the situation, there are some practical steps you need to take independently from searching for another job:

1.    Ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork from your employer, including your P45 and all relevant information relating to your employee benefits and pension rights with appropriate contact details

2.    Ask for references before you and gain agreement that contact details can be given to any prospective employers

3.    If you have received a redundancy payoff, ensure you have  a detailed breakdown as to how that payment has been calculated and any deductions taken

4.    Check with the HMRC and check to see how your redundancy (including payoff )has affected your tax situation . HMRC has a helpful fact sheet  on redundancy and NIC and tax contributions.

Check your insurance cover

5.    Do you have an insurance policy covering you in the event of redundancy – check the details and inform your insurer of your situation

6.    Did you have a comprehensive benefits package as part of your compensation with your employer? If you received insurance for private health cover and life insurance you may wish to take out personal  policies to remain covered

7.    Prepare a statement of your own financial situation. If you are looking to claim jobseekers allowance or other benefits, many are means tested, so it is best to have all your information up to date.

8.    Take time to review your own expenditure – not going into the office every day does present you with the opportunity to take time and evaluate exactly where your money is spent every month.

9.    If you have received a lump sum pay off, seek financial advice on how best to invest it – should you use it towards paying off your mortgage, retain for living expenses etc.

Once they have dealt with the practicalities, many women start to see redundancy as an opportunity to make positive changes in their lives.  Many of our ‘Fabwomen’ featured have changed careers or set up businesses following redundancy

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Jo Carroll

    December 14, 2011

    Such a valuable post – of course there might be wailing and gnashing of teeth with redundancy, but it has huge practical implications. Sometimes, as women, we can focus too much on the emotional impact of something like this, and forget that we can take practical steps to look after ourselves.

    Is there a folder of posts like this here – with practical info, that can be kept up to date. How to make sense of pensions. Rights of women when husbands take off to chase floozies. Our legal position in relation to aging and frail parents? (Sorry if you already have this on the site, Ceri – do delete this if you have. I’ve no time now to check it out, sorry!)

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      December 14, 2011

      Hi Jo, we have lots of articles in the money section- on finance, pensions and legal matters and a whole section of articles on going back to work, redundancy, discrimination etc in the careers section. Lots of practical tips to help! 🙂

      • Jo Carroll

        December 14, 2011

        I am standing in the corner with my head bowed. Next time I’ll look around properly before I make suggestions. (Don’t worry – I’m not one to stand in the corner for long!)

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