Losing or leaving your job can be a significant event, and it’s important to understand your rights and the correct steps to take.
If You Get Fired or Laid Off
Redundancy: If your role is no longer needed, you may be made redundant. You’re typically entitled to redundancy pay if you’ve been with your employer for two years or more. The Gov.UK guide on redundancy provides detailed information.
Unfair Dismissal: After two years of service, you’re protected against unfair dismissal. If you believe you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you can appeal to an employment tribunal. Consult ACAS’s advice on dismissal for guidance.
Notice Period: You’re usually entitled to a notice period before your employment ends, or payment in lieu of notice. The length of the notice period depends on your contract and length of service. Gov.UK outlines the statutory notice periods.
Severance Pay: While severance pay isn’t a statutory right in the UK outside of redundancy, you may negotiate a severance package. Speak to a legal professional or check Citizens Advice on pay and entitlements when leaving a job.
Before You Stop Working
Register as a Jobseeker: If facing unemployment, register with Jobcentre Plus. This is essential to claim certain benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit.
Informing Your Visa Sponsor: If you’re in the UK on a work visa, inform your visa sponsor of your employment change. Failure to do so could affect your visa status. Refer to Gov.UK’s visa pages for specifics.
Claiming Benefits: Depending on your contributions, you may be entitled to claim benefits. Use the benefits calculators on Gov.UK to see what support you could receive.
Health Insurance: In the UK, your health coverage under the NHS continues regardless of employment status.
Letter of Reference: Request a reference from your employer to aid in your job search. While not a legal requirement in the UK, it’s common practice.