The first thing to do when redundancy hits is “not panic”, but we know this is easier said than done!
We all know that working is good for us, it is great for the self esteem and redundancy is a very low blow at the time. People in the ranks of the UK unemployed were hoping for something of a lifeline with the last budget, but the Chancellor did little to help them in this regard: many were left disappointed. Currently there are nearly 2.5 million unemployed people in the UK.
This is the highest level of unemployment since the mid 1990s with young adults the worst affected – more than a fifth are unable to find employment! There are obviously certain things we can do to help get ourselves employed, or make us more “employable”, however under the current circumstances, we also need to know how to protect ourselves and or seek financial assistance.
Entitlements in terms of people seeking work are available from the state – the benefit is called “Jobseeker’s Allowance” and there are two types:
Contribution based – for job seekers who have already made contributions to the National Insurance scheme while previously being employed. This will only be paid for the first 6 months of unemployment; thereafter an application needs to be made for income based unemployment benefits.
Income based – this allowance is based on the income or savings of the applicant. It is a maximum of £51.85 for people between 16 and 24, and £65.45 for people of over 25 years old.
There are many ways for people to supplement their income – think about it, what are you good at, can you bake, sew, do woodwork – do you have a spare room in your home you can let?
There is also a lot of freelance online employment opportunities for data input, programming, writing, virtual assistants, graphic design, marketing and tele-marketing.
PeoplePerHour.com is a good place to pitch for work as is Freelancer.com. Employers advertise their requirements, you then bid for the work. For the amateur photographer, there are many “stock photo” sites where photos may be uploaded for sale.
If you are unemployed; what can you do to improve your qualifications? There are always vocational and other college courses, but these mostly come at a price; it is generally worth the investment, but find out what you can learn for free.
Voluntary work for example – it always teaches some important lessons as well as skills and will add to the character of your CV. In fact there is evidence to prove that volunteering has a positive career progression effect as well as a positive effect on self-esteem.
As well as taking income insurance protection while you are still employed, another very good insurance to consider is a mortgage payment protection plan. This has a waiting period of 30 to 120 days to kick-in, which prevents abuse of the system – it is also very worthwhile. It covers mortgage repayments for up to 12 months for redundancy, accident, illness, and can offer the unemployed a breathing space and a roof over their heads; to think and plan or look for work.
Admittedly, these are plans that cannot be taken out if you have already been made redundant or are in the process of being made redundant but are important plans to remember for the future. Many people also decide to take out these plans when the economy weakens, before companies start making redundancy announcements.
Many people have lost their jobs and found that this was the best thing that ever happened to them. More people are finding it easier and completely cost-free to become self employed with remote opportunities available from all over the world, through employment brokering online. There are also tons of genuine affiliate opportunities and many people make extra money this way while they are still employed; it is actually something tangible to fall back on in the case of a redundancy.
I’ve held a policy with Drewberry for several years now. They are always friendly, insightful and offer great service.