Advice for if you lose your job
Losing your job can affect many parts of your life and make you feel anxious about the future. Whether you’ve lost your job or been made redundant, you may find it difficult to:
- pay your bills
- maintain the skills you need to do your job
- look after your wellbeing and mental health
- take care of your family or caring responsibilities
Redundancy is a type of dismissal from your job. It happens when your employer needs to reduce the workforce.
You have rights in redundancy that may make the process easier. If you are a member of a union, they could:
- support you
- provide information and advice
- advocate for you if necessary
If you're facing redundancy because your employer can’t pay their debts, this is known as insolvency. You can contact the insolvency helpline for advice specific to this type of redundancy. ACAS (Advice, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) are also able to provide you with support during your redundancy.
Redundancy and furlough
If you were made redundant after the 28 February 2020 because of COVID-19, your employer might be able to rehire and furlough you and pay 80% of your wages.
Manage your money
If you have lost your job, money can often be the cause of stress and worry. There are some simple things you can do that will help, including:
- see if you’re eligible for benefits
- get help if you can't pay your bills or learn how to make a payment plan
- learn how to manage your money on a reduced income
- find out how financial planning can help you to become financially resilient
There is further advice available about the changes to benefits for people who:
- are already claiming benefits
- need to claim benefits
- are at risk of losing their job as a result of COVID-19
Retrain or improve your skills
Being unemployed can be a very stressful time. You may find it helpful to:
- maintain a daily routine
- learn a new skill or improve an old one
- stay in touch with old friends and colleagues
- separate out a work and a home space while you’re applying for job
Unemployment may also provide you with an opportunity to keep your skills up to date or learn a new skill. The Skills Toolkit offers courses in numeracy and digital skills.
Look for work
You may want to find a job as soon as possible, which may be difficult when self-isolating. There are several things you may want to consider when looking for work now:
Job applications and interviews
If you’ve been made redundant due to COVID-19, you may need to update your CV to reflect this. Employers may want to know that you were not made redundant due to your performance. There are different ways you can do this:
- under the job title of your most recent job, you can describe why you were dismissed e.g. “While I worked in this role, I increased the efficiency of my team by 20%. The role was discontinued due to COVID-19.” You may also want to mention this in your covering letter to make sure that an employer sees it
- it may also be helpful to use it to gives examples of skills or training you’ve learned since becoming unemployed e.g. “since being laid off from my last role due to COVID-19, I have taken the opportunity to increase my digital skills by taking courses in digital content and presentation skills”
Many interviews are taking place remotely; over the phone or through video conferencing. Following interview advice and researching common interview questions can help you to prepare so that you feel confident during the interview.
Help and support
If you’re not sure about your next steps for getting back into employment, you can speak to an adviser.