Redundancy or Jump?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 - economics, Employment, job hunting, job search, recruitment, redundancy, tutorial

Redundancy or Jump?

2009 06 09 - 6782 - Hanover - OoTS Look Again

I get asked this question of redundancy or jump constantly at present, which only goes to fuel my thought that the economy has not yet turned around. Here is a version of the question, with my thoughts and suggested actions:

Loren asks: When is the best time to jump from a sinking ship? If you look into the future, and believe your employer is not going to survive, or will perhaps survive, but not with your job, when do you personally decide to leave?

In answer:
Simply – don’t jump until you have been made redundant or have a written offer from a new employer.

I know from experience in many of these situations, that it is most often the human level relationships which fail first over the obvious signs of a company or employer going under or down sizing. People get stressed, relationships get strained, life gets hard. This is particularly true in case where there is a down sizing, resulting in employees feeling that performance and tough-machismo may give them a better chance of staying.

In this maelstrom of human emotion, it is not surprising that some think: why not jump now before the inevitable?

But it is only on the human level we could possibly feel better by jumping into a void: the proverbial frying pan to fire scenario!


If you feel such a situation coming about, then some at present are rushing to take out redundancy insurance. Beware the clauses associated with enforcement, as often insurers will not provide any benefits for a time period, and then scaled benefits for up to a year.

Financially, an employer had to compensate you for terminating your contract of employment. If you resign, then you are terminating the contract, and hence no redundancy pay

Legally, Unions fight (rightly) redundancy. For employees, they are the best source of redundancy advice, and often offer non-members special fixed rates to join at such times. But once the decision is made, their focus is on correct implementation of redundancy process over anything else, and making sure the employer complies with redundancy law. After ensuring that you gain the correct redundancy entitlement, they will ensure the employer gives some support to ex-employees finding new work. If you leave before, you will get limited union help

Once you have left, then a fair question for any future employer is why? If you got made redundant, particularly in the present economic climate, then no reasonable employer will question your motives or reasons beyond that point. If you leave of your own free will and choice, then as a recruiter I would grill that fully, particularly if you left with nothing to go to and then spent a long time on the dole.

Redundancy process

The redundancy process once implemented will be fairly quick and fast. No employer wants a series of disgruntled people inside their financial asset, your old work place. Plus, how motivated are redundant workers likely to be, or care about quality of product or service delivered?

Personally from experience, waiting over jumping has numerous financial and career advantages. Additionally, rather than reflecting and preparing on your future career path at your expense, you can do it at your soon to be ex-employers expense. I have always said that as companies do their financial planning on a quarterly basis, you should at all times be ready with your Career Plan and Professional CV to be ready for such a situation: there is also our article on undertaking a Secret New Job Search. But if you are not ready, this lull period is an ideal time in which to do preparation work, and keeps you in a positive frame of mind. You can then use your redundancy payments to focus on your job search

So don’t fall like all your colleagues into the false dawn of the cave man, or jump because you don’t like what is going on: honestly, no one will. Do the best for your career and yourself, by planning your next steps – which happens to be at your employers expense, and for your benefit

Good Luck!


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