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How Has Furlough Ending Affected You?

At the beginning of the first UK lockdown, the government introduced the furlough scheme to help those who could no longer work. This has provided an essential source of income for many throughout the pandemic. However, since ending last month, almost one million people have been left unsure of how to replace it. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help those affected understand how to navigate this change and protect their finances.

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The pandemic has affected all businesses in some way. However, it has affected different sectors in varying ways, and some have suffered more than others. Therefore, since furlough has ended, many companies in the worst-hit sectors have had to make a lot of redundancies. If you’ve been made redundant for this reason, then it is important to make sure your employer respects your legal rights in the process. These include:

  • You must be given a certain amount of notice, depending on how long you have worked at the company. If you have been there for two to twelve years, then you must get one week’s notice for every year you have worked for the company.
  • You should be given tax-free redundancy pay if you have been working for the same employer for over two years. The amount will be determined by how long you have worked there, your current salary and your age, as well as however much holiday leave you have remaining.
  • The selection process between employees must be fair. Therefore, the decision cannot be based on any personal characteristics, such as religion, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Likewise, it must not be because you are pregnant, have asked for holidays, or are a trade union member.

Therefore, it is important to ask for a reason for your redundancy to ensure your labour rights are being recognised. Also, if you are made redundant for a legitimate reason then the government are here to act as a safety net whilst you look for a new job. The following financial support may be available to you:

  • Employment and Support Allowance – This is available for those whose ability to work is being affected by an illness, health condition or disability.
  • Universal Credit – This is there to help pay for the living costs of those living on a low income or unable to find work.
  • Jobseekers’ Allowance – This is for those who are unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week, based on how much they have contributed to National Insurance.

So, if you’ve been made redundant due to furlough ending, try to remain calm because help is available. Here at Consolidation Express, we understand just how difficult managing your finances can be when life throws you unexpected changes. That’s why we can help you apply for a consolidation loan to consolidate your debts into one affordable monthly repayment. You can use benefits to help pay an amount that is realistic based on your financial circumstances and take back control of your financial life.

Finding a New Job

Nobody wants to be out of work for a long time. So, the next step is looking for a new job. If you’ve been made redundant then you are allowed to take 40% of your working week off to attend interviews and look for a new job. So, make the most of this and get job hunting online, using website such as Indeed and LinkedIn.

However, you may find that there have been some changes to the job market since you started on furlough a year and a half ago. Although there is approximately the same number of people unemployed as there are vacancies, the job descriptions don’t perfectly match up with the workers available*. The people who have just come off furlough are typically older, male and in vulnerable sectors, such as the arts and travel industry. Therefore, if you’re looking for employment, it’s important to adapt to the job roles on offer and think about how your skills could be transferable. For example, if you have come from a customer-facing role in the travel sector, you may find that you excel at a role in customer services.

The five sectors with the most vacancies are retail, manufacturing, health and social care, hospitality, and technical professionals*. So, think about what type of role you could see yourself in and have a look online to see if the government offer any bursaries or loans for post-redundancy retraining courses.

*According to the Office for National Statistics for July to September 2021.

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We understand that facing redundancy can be scary and overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to offer expert financial advice on how to manage your money better. If you’re struggling to pay off debts and keep up with loan repayments, then get in touch today and we’ll see if you’re eligible for a consolidation loan to help support you on your journey to financial freedom.

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