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New CAB advice for people facing job loss as unemployment rises

17 August 2011

National charity Citizens Advice has issued new advice for people at risk of redundancy in the wake of today's unemployment figures showing a rise in job losses.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“Last year Citizens Advice Bureaux helped with almost 570,000 employment problems, and one in 10 of these were about redundancy. Being told you’re out of a job is a frightening experience for anyone, and without the right advice you can quickly find yourself in debt and facing big pressures in your family life. We want to make sure people have the information they need about their rights and know what help they can get while they’re looking for work.”

Top Tips checklist for people at risk of redundancy or who have lost their job:

  • Check your legal rights. If you’re being made redundant you must not be singled out unfairly for redundancy. Your employer must consult with you, follow the correct procedures and give you proper notice. You should also be offered any suitable alternative work available and be given time off to look for a new job.
  • Check you are getting the right money when your job ends. You have a legal right to redundancy pay if you have worked at least two years for the same employer, and your contract may entitle you to more money. You should be paid your normal wages until the end of your notice period. If your boss wants you to go sooner they may have to give you pay in lieu of notice.
  • Check your tax position. If your redundancy pay is less than £30,000 you won’t have to pay any tax on it. But check in case it includes other payments that are taxable. You may also be entitled to a tax rebate so make sure you check that too.
  • Check what benefits you may be entitled to. The main benefits you can get if you’re looking for work are jobseeker’s allowance (JSA); housing benefit to help pay the rent; and council tax benefit to help pay council tax bills. If you have a mortgage you may be able to get help towards the interest payments.
  • Check whether your redundancy pay will affect your entitlement to benefits. Some or all of your redundancy pay may be treated as savings when you make a claim for benefits. This could affect how much you get, or whether you can get benefits at all. The rules around savings are complicated so it’s important to get independent advice.
  • Get advice. There are lots of things to think about if you lose your job. For more detailed information on what you need to know and what help you can get, or for contact details of your nearest CAB, go to the Citizens Advice website: ·http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_money/employment/redundancy_an_introduction.htm where you can also download a factsheet Help yourself…if you’re made redundant

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.