What to do if your job is made redundant

Being retrenched from your job can be hard to accept. And unfortunately we’ve seen more people lose their jobs lately as a result of the global panic around COVID-19.

The sudden news and shock that comes with that is often the hardest part for people, but it’s important to try not to take it personally. Redundancy is usually not about your personal performance. It often comes down to the performance of your employer’s business, the industry sector in which you work, or even the global economy.

Whilst redundancy can make you feel out of control, there are things you can do to put you back in the driver’s seat for your life and career.

Take control

  • Redundancy payment: Genuine redundancy payments are given special tax treatment, including a tax-free amount related to years of service. Your lump sum payment might be your last pay packet for a while, so draw up a budget. This will help you identify areas where you can economise until you find a new job. Your financial adviser can help you work out the best use for any lump sum you receive.
  • Mortgage: If you have a home loan, contact your lender immediately. You may be able to adjust payments while you are out of the workforce.
  • Centrelink: You may be eligible for income support from Centrelink. Especially if you’ve been made redundant due to COVID-19 – a lot of businesses had no choice but to close their doors, so unemployment has skyrocketed. In response, the Australian Government has been making large injections into the economy, one being the announcement of the Job Keeper welfare package. Be aware that waiting periods and income and asset tests apply, so contact Centrelink as soon as possible. A lot of the usual paperwork has been waived for those seeking Job Keeper payments, but you’ll still need to wait either in line or on hold. Go to www.humanservices.gov.au for details, and speak to your financial planner to find out what’s best for you.
  • Superannuation and insurance: Depending on your fund, you may need to rollover your superannuation benefit. You may also need to replace any insurance cover you had with your employer super fund. Your adviser can guide you on these matters; firstly, contact your super fund to check your insurance details.
  • New job or new career: Redundancy may be an unwanted challenge, but many people take the opportunity to make the move to a completely new career. This may involve a period of re-training for which government assistance may be available.
  • Other support: Some companies offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Apart from helping you update your CV, find a new job or transition to a new career, outplacement companies can also provide support in dealing with the emotional consequences of retrenchment. If outplacement services are available, always take advantage of them.

The emotional side

At first I was afraid, I was petrified…” Gloria Gaynor sang in her 1978 disco hit “I Will Survive”, and although she was singing about love lost, she could just as easily have been singing about being made redundant from her job.

Remember you can survive… and even thrive!

Some welcome the financial windfall a redundancy may bring, but for others the emotional consequences of losing a job can be serious, varying from feelings of helplessness to deep depression. If you have family members or friends who are not handling their job loss, encourage them to get help. The family doctor is a good starting point or visit www.beyondblue.org.au for further information.

For financial assistance, get in touch with our team today.