Skip to content Skip to footer

Choosing voluntary redundancy

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

Your employer might ask if anyone wants to take voluntary redundancy.

You should think carefully about whether voluntary redundancy is right for you, including whether you’ll get any redundancy pay and how it will affect things like claiming benefits or your mortgage.

If you volunteer, it’s up to your employer if they select you for redundancy.

Making sure voluntary redundancy is right for you

You should think carefully about how voluntary redundancy will affect any money you’re entitled to.

Check the redundancy offer

Ask your employer what the redundancy package will be. Sometimes employers offer incentives for taking voluntary redundancy, like extra redundancy pay or not having to work your notice period.

You’ll also still get any other redundancy rights you’re entitled to, like time off to look for a new job. nidirect has more info on redundancy rights.

Claiming benefits

You might be able to claim benefits after taking voluntary redundancy.

You might be entitled to housing benefit to help with your rent or Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit while you look for a new job - check what benefits you might be entitled to.

If you have a mortgage protection policy

You should check your mortgage protection policy to see what it says about voluntary redundancy.

Voluntary redundancy is usually excluded, meaning they won’t pay your mortgage payments after your redundancy.

You can find more information on mortgage protection insurance exclusions, including voluntary redundancy.

Planning for after redundancy

Read more about budgeting, training and finding a new job after redundancy.

Once you volunteer to be made redundant

Your employer will select the people to be made redundant from everyone who volunteered.

It’s up to your employer if they select you for redundancy. Just because you volunteered to be made redundant doesn’t mean you will be.

If you’re selected for redundancy, it’s important you get a letter from your employer confirming you’ve been made redundant.

You’ll need to show this letter to an employment tribunal later if there are any problems (for example, your employer doesn’t pay your redundancy pay).

You’ll still get any redundancy rights you’re entitled to, like time off to look for a new job. You might also be able to negotiate your notice period with your employer.

Taking early retirement instead 

If you’re close to retirement, your employer may suggest you take voluntary early retirement instead of voluntary redundancy.

You need to look carefully at the financial impact of each option, including how it will affect:

  • any occupational or personal pensions you have

  • any benefits you might be entitled to

  • the redundancy package you’re being offered

Read more about pensions and money after retirement.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if your employer suggests you take early retirement instead of voluntary redundancy.

Did this advice help?