Citizens Advice Salford

Preparing for redundancy

Before you’re made redundant, you might be entitled to some help finding a new job, like time off for interviews. See our separate advice about being fairly selected for redundancy.

Money might be tight for a while so you should also get advice on managing any debts you have and check if you’re entitled to any benefits. Our money advisers can help you re-organise your money affairs.

Help getting a new job

Contact your local Jobcentre and ask for their Rapid Response Service – they specialise in helping people who have been made redundant. They will help you find a new job and may even pay for training.

You can use the service during your notice period and for up to 13 weeks after you’ve been made redundant.

You should also ask your employer for a written reference, as you can send this with your job applications.

You won’t get any redundancy pay if you accept an alternative job with your current employer before the end of your notice period.

Taking time off to look for work

If you’ve worked for your employer for two years at the end of your notice period, you’re entitled to time off to apply for jobs or go on training.

You can take the time off at any time in normal working hours. Your employer can’t ask you to rearrange your work hours to make up the time off.

You won’t get this time off if you’re in the police or armed forces, or some other rare situations.

How much time off you can take

When taking time off to look for work, you’ll be paid at your normal hourly rate, but only for up to 40% of a week’s work. For example you could be paid at your normal hourly rate for up to 2 days if you work 5 days a week.

You can take ‘reasonable’ time off once your employer has given you a date for when your employment will end.  

What’s reasonable depends on:

  • how long your notice period is
  • whether your employer can run the business without you
  • how far you have to travel to find work
  • whether your contract says how many days you get

Ask your employer before you take any time off. Try to give them as much notice as possible and tell them what you need the time for – for example a job interview. Giving notice and a reason will make your employer more likely to agree.

Your employer might agree to you taking more time off, but you won’t be paid for it unless your employer agrees or your contract says you have a right to more paid time off.

If your employer won’t give you paid time off to look for work

Start by talking to your employer if they refuse to pay you for time off to look for work. You could speak to your human resources (HR) department, if there is one.

Not all employers know about this right – they might change their mind if you explain the law to them or show them online information on your rights (for example, the Acas guide to redundancy).

If talking to your employer doesn’t help, you can start early conciliation.

After Acas early conciliation, your final option is to take your employer to an employment tribunal.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice as soon as possible if you need help, as there’s a tight deadline for taking action. For Salford call us on 0300 3009 074.

Check you got all the money you’re entitled to

When you get your final pay, you should check you got:

  • any redundancy pay you’re entitled to (or you’ve been told when you’ll get it)
  • your last wages/salary
  • that your pay has been calculated on you normal pay and not a reduced ‘furlough’ amount
  • any ‘pay in lieu’ if you’re not working your full notice
  • any holiday pay you’re entitled to
  • any outstanding bonus, commission or expenses you’re entitled to

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if there’s a problem with your final pay – you may have to make a claim to an employment tribunal to get the money you’re owed. For Salford call us on 0300 3309 074.

Check if you have to pay tax on your redundancy pay

The first £30,000 of your redundancy pay is tax free.

For any redundancy pay over £30,000, your employer will take the tax from your redundancy pay at your normal tax rate.

However, if your employer pays you your final pay after you leave your job, they’ll take the tax from your redundancy pay at the basic rate of 20%. If you pay a higher tax rate, you need to call HMRC to arrange to pay the extra tax.

Your notice pay is taxed as your normal pay would be.

HM Revenue and Customs Taxes Helpline

Telephone: 0300 200 3300

Textphone: 0300 200 3319

Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm; Saturday from 8am to 4pm

Claiming benefits

You might be able to claim benefits while you’re looking for a new job, like Universal Credit.

You might also be able to get a higher amount of benefits you already get, for example:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • tax credits

Use our benefits checker to see what benefits you may be entitled to. (

Help paying your rent or mortgage

You might be able to claim Universal Credit housing costs or Housing Benefit to help pay your rent – use our benefits checker to see what benefits you may be entitled to.

If you have a mortgage, check your mortgage protection policy to see what it says about redundancy. You might get some money towards your mortgage while you look for a new job.

Get advice about any debts

You should get advice about any debts you have already – read about how to get help with your debts.

If you’re worried about getting into debt after your redundancy, use our budgeting tool to see exactly where your money goes each month. (

If you’ve bought something on credit, check whether you’ve got a payment protection insurance policy that will pay off the credit because you’ve been made redundant.

Tom Togher

Citizens Advice Salford

Advice Line 0300 3309 074 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)