My job’s at risk… what can I do?

Afraid of losing your job? Make sure you know your rights!

The job market is pretty tough at the moment, with many companies being forced to close, downsize or sell up. It’s normal to feel concerned if you’re at risk of losing your job, but it’s worth reading up on your rights and getting the right advice.

Pray!

Before you do anything else, pray about the situation and ask for God’s guidance. It may be that he is closing one door to open another, better window. 1 Peter 5:7 says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Know your rights

Your employer must notify you in writing if you’re at risk of redundancy, but this is no guarantee that you will actually be made redundant. It may be that you are moved into another area of the business or transferred to a new company. You have the right to turn any such offer down, but doing so might affect any statutory redundancy pay you may be entitled to.

There are strict rules when it comes to making people redundant. For example, employers must use fair selection criteria before choosing which employees to offer redundancy to (ie, you cannot be made redundant for being on maternity/paternity leave, being part of a union or for asking for flexible working conditions) and must consult with employees in an appropriate way. Failure to follow government legislation could result in a charge of unfair dismissal, which may give employees recourse to compensation.

You are likely to be entitled to a notice period, though this will depend on which part of the UK you live in and how long you have been employed by the company. If the firm is closing immediately, you may be paid without having to serve your notice. You should also be entitled to a redundancy package, depending on your age and length of service, though you may only be offered the statutory redundancy pay, plus any holidays, bonuses and so on you have accrued.

Help is available

If you have questions relating to your specific circumstances, Citizens Advice may be able to help. You may also be entitled to Universal Credit or other financial assistance. If you’re looking for alternative employment, the government-backed Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme, designed to help people who have become unemployed due to Covid-19, may give you access to a work coach who could offer advice and practical assistance. The government has also introduced a new Job Help site for all jobseekers and a Kickstart scheme for younger workers. Premier Jobsearch is another great place to look for work, and LinkedIn can be a helpful place to look for jobs and do valuable networking.

If you’re fearful of, or struggling to deal with the fallout from, redundancy, consider talking to church leaders, friends and colleagues who may have been through similar experiences or may have useful links within your chosen field. Don’t stop praying, and try to keep an open mind about the future. Whatever your situation, God is able to provide.

Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”