Facing potential redundancy…what do I do?

Earlier this week I found out that 150 of 500 people from our UK service line are facing potential redundancy – myself included.

It’s been a tough week and haven’t had a lot of time to fully digest the news. I’ve been trying to ‘fix’ the situation by hustling for new business opps and trying to get billed on to projects but I need to be pragmatic; hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

I hope by writing it down and crowdsourcing some ideas/suggestions, I can begin to come to terms with it and start planning ahead.

For context, I work for a huge global company with nearly 400,000 employees across the world. They announced 10% growth figures for our service line in the U.K. but, in spite of this, on account of shifting client priorities and financial challenges, they have decided to make redundancies.

I’ve been with this company for 3.5 years and while that isn’t a huge amount of time, relative to the vast majority of others, I have been here longer than most. I’m also generally considered a high performer; never been subject to disciplinary action, underperformance and I recently got nominated for an enhanced performance bonus (although I doubt I’ll receive this now, given the announcement). I’m on a pretty decent salary to the point where I’m struggling to find another job that offers the same terms. Most of the roles I’ve found are at least £10k less p/a than what I’m currently on.

Me and my partner recently had our first child, got a mortgage, I was planning to take shared paternity in January 2024 and we have a wedding to plan for which will be next August. While there is never a good time for a redundancy, and there will be lots of people with their own circumstances, this is pretty bad timing for me personally (especially given my partner is on Mat leave with less income).

We have a deadline for voluntary redundancy (early September) and we’re being tempted in with enhanced terms if we do opt in to it (they haven’t specified what these terms will be, they will be negotiated on a case by case basis) or risk leaving on statutory which, given my tenure, won’t be fantastic. Although perhaps we CAN still negotiate post this deadline…there are no certainties they will they’re not obliged to give anything more legally.

I have no idea what to do. I enjoy the work, the people, the benefits package and I am able to work from home whenever I want. I’ve built up a good reputation and I don’t want to start again from scratch. I genuinely thought I might be a lifer at this organisation given the prospects…but this news has turned my world upside down.

I don’t know yet what the scoring criteria is for the decision on redundancies (the standard ones are ‘last in, first out’, ‘performance’ etc…but there could be other factors). My utilisation isn’t great (nor is lots of peoples) but I’ve contributed to significant BD wins (c. £4m in last 24 months). In addition to my generalist skills, I also possess some unique skills which very few people have in the business, so maybe I’m less likely to be culled?

But the risk of leaving on the bare minimum terms scares me and I’m now debating whether to opt into voluntary redundancy and negotiate a significant package that will be keep going at least until March / April 2024 (including paying for additional training and add more strings to my bow). This will allow me to take my shared Pat leave, keep paying the bills, re-skill and bide my time in the job market…but I don’t know how realistic this is though?

I’m interested to hear others’ personal stories of redundancies and thoughts/advice on my situation – particularly if there are any legal professionals specialising in employment law.

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