What to do when faced with redundancy

You are a sole office administrator in a small company. Your employers wife informs you that she is going to "outsource" the accounts and therefore your services will no longer be required. Formal notice has not yet been given but will be. Your job involves much more then just the accounts and you are alone in the shop 60% of the time, sometimes all day. You suspect that the "outsource" is going to be the employers daughter or daughter-in-law. What would be your next step?

Last reply: 21st Oct 2011 / 7 replies / Post by Jayney63

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Posted by: Viv
Posted: 19th Oct 2011

Viv says: This has happened to me a few times and I've always found it best to focus on fixing the problem by finding a new position asap rather than brooding on the perceived injustice. Speculation about who will be taking over from you is pointless and irrelevant after all, as your employer has every right to replace you so long as you are given sufficient notice and appropriate redundancy pay. If they do give you a reason that pertains to your performance then the first question you should ask yourself is 'Could they be right?' First off, visit Centrelink to see if you may be eligible for any assistance. I found the job agency to which they referred me very helpful in providing practical advice and the free use of their phones and office equipment. Then update your resume and send it to every conceivable future employer with an appropriate covering letter. Take the trouble to ring each of these firms first however, to ascertain to whom the letter should be addressed and that person's exact job title. (It may not be precisely the same in each firm). If you can't afford professional help in composing and presentation of these documents then ask around family and friends for constructive criticism and advice. And whilst you're on the subject of jobs, ask if anyone knows of any positions which may be available. Always aim to arrive for interviews at least 30 minutes in advance to allow for traffic holdups/getting lost/car breakdown/whatever. And, of course, dress immaculately in smart business style (ie a suit) in colors that suit you but aren't too flashy. And if you do wear jewellery make it just one or 2 understated pieces. Last of all, don't get downhearted if you don't get a new job soon. It took me several months to find my last position (being 55 didn't help) but I was happy there and stayed till I retired about 6 years later. If you need to slash your spending in the interim (I certainly had to!) here are a few tips:

1. Unplug all electrical devices when not in use, except of course the fridge/freezer and clock radios. Don't worry if the clock on the microwave gets confused - check your watch instead. Also, turn off all lights when you leave the room and use a fan instead of air conditioning. Keep all your blinds and curtains drawn when it's very hot.

2. Pay your rent/mortgage first, then the bills due before your next Centrelink payment, then use what's left for food.

3. Buy only basic ingredients and cook everything from scratch - eg no cakes/biscuits/prepared sauces or flavorings/frozen or dehydrated meals.

4, Rice, pasta and bread are filling and cheap but supplement with at least a little fresh fruit and vegetables every day to keep healthy.

5, Tap water is still the cheapest way to slake your thirst.

6, Stop buying meat, or at least stick to only sausages and the cheapest mince.

7. Cut out icecream and sweets.

8. Every time you shop buy 1 extra pack of rice or pasta if you can - there may be some fortnights when what's already in the kitchen is all you'll have to eat for the next 2 weeks.

8. Finally, best of luck. Stay dogged and KEEP YOUR CHIN UP! Bad times never last for ever.



Posted by: magsward
Posted: 20th Oct 2011

magsward says: My sister-in-law was in the same position as you but instead chose to look elsewhere. She is now happily employed in another job. My husband was made redundant last year and I have had to resign due to bullying issues. It is not easy in this economy to be out of work, but to fight an issue like yours is sometimes not worth it. I did win an unjustified dismissal case last year but I had a good lawyer who was able to prove that I was treated unjustly. I would only suggest this if you can prove what the employer is doing. You are probably better off to simply resign, accept it and move on. It maybe difficult financially for awhile (we are struggling on an extremely low income) but it can be done. Unfortunately this happens a lot. We are simply cutting back, accepted an offer of a cheap house from my brother, looking for free entertainment, scouring the internet for cheap meals and saving where we can. If you get behind in bills most places are happy to accommodate you if you ring and let them know early on. Best of luck. Reply


Posted by: sandy
Posted: 20th Oct 2011

magsward says: My sister-in-law was in the same position as you but instead chose to look elsewhere. She is now happily employed in another job. My husband was made redundant last year and I have had to resign...

sandy says: make sure you get involentry redundancy as this should help your tax.
bob Reply


Posted by: mustang6000
Posted: 20th Oct 2011

mustang6000 says: I was made 3 times in my working life. I always found that the best attitude was to treat looking for employment as a job and then spend the same amount of time daily on that task that would have spent at work. This always worked for me as I never spent more than 6/8 weeks without work. Reply


Posted by: Jay
Posted: 20th Oct 2011

Jay says: I had never been out of work my whole life so when I was facing the same issue at aged 54 I felt very threatened. But in considering what to do I made the biggest mistake I could! I tried to find a job asap without allowing myself to grieve for my loss. I needed to take time out and consider what had happened; to re-evaluate my life, etc. Instead I went into another job with out considering all the issues and it was the worst 3-4 months of my life.


Posted by: natters
Posted: 21st Oct 2011

natters says: Hi, I have faced redundancy twice within 10 years, and strangely, it was with a sense of relief that I was able to go out and look at what I really wanted to do rather than being given limits on what I can do. What really flummoxed me tho' was being fired from a job - and I had never been fired before, because of a conflict of interest. What is that? I found out what it was, and it took a while for me to get over my previous unblemished record and that blur on my file. I'm still alive, still working elsewhere, and grateful right now. Reply


Posted by: SarahEC
Posted: 21st Oct 2011

SarahEC says: Janey - my sympathy; I have been there, and only just found a new job. All the above commenters have valuable advice. I can only add the following:
- in a business that small you will not win a claim for unfair dismissal - it sounds like they are genuinely trying to save money. Best is to negotiate as long a notice period as you can, and get the best possible reference from them. Also, if you behave "well", they are llikely to be grateful enough to be proactive in notifing you of other opportunities.

There are great job-seeking references online -; etc have some great tips about preparing resumes etc. Also have your story ready re why you left your job - never lie, but cast in a way that shows you at your best. NEVER criticise your previous employer at an interview, even subtly. It's like trashing your ex to a first date - doesn't matter how justified it was, it just gives them a bad feeling about you.

Think really laterally about your skills and don't dismiss advertised jobs that aren't in your immediate job description - I had a great secretary once who was a hairdresser. She had client relationship skills, knew how to take calls and arrange appointments and manage basic invoices - she had all the skills I needed in an EA and was able to think laterally about her skills ratther than only looking for work as a hairdresser.

Make sure you can account for the gap in your resume - do some volunteer work (a charity thrift shop gives you retail skills, for example), or if you can afford it, some study in an area you'd like to do more of - eg a certificate IV in Small Business. Most places will cut you a break on the fees, or you may be eligible for assistance; you have a great reason for not working for a few months, you have a reason to get up in the morning and stay motivated, and you have a valuable new qualification at the end of it that helps finding worlk. I did a couple of Cert IV's in my interim and in fact made fantstic contacts amongst the other students and was even offered work opportunities by the teachers.

Hope some of that helps, and chin up.


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