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.