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Six in 10 employees facing redundancy are planning career changes

Research reveals that nearly 4 in 10 (38%) UK employees anticipate being made redundant within the next 12 months. Of this group, 60% do not plan on continuing their current career path post-redundancy.

The research from Renovo has highlighted high levels of employee uncertainty and anxiety around job security as the UK emerges from the furlough period.

The study reveals that, in spite of a seemingly buoyant job market, 53% of respondents are worried about finding a new role after being made redundant, whether that is due to current job market conditions, their perceived level of marketable skills, uncertainty surrounding what to do next, doubts about how to find a new role, or a combination of these factors.

The research also suggests that employees are feeling disorientated with many looking to move in an entirely different direction post redundancy: 29% of respondents expect to make a career change, 14% will start their own business or become self-employed, while another 17% will continue in further education, take time away from work or retire.

The report, Life After Furlough: Employer and Employee Perspectives on the Threat of Redundancy, reveals the concerns and expectations of 173 employers who anticipate making redundancies as well as 200 employees who predict they will be made redundant within the next year*.

However, the data shows that some employers are not receptive to employees’ concerns when it comes to job or career changes post-redundancy. Over 4 in 10 (42%) employers expecting to make redundancies don’t provide any kind of career or job searching support and nearly 8 in 10 (79%) provide no form of retirement support.

Chris Parker, Managing Director, Renovo, said: Understandably, employee concerns in the face of redundancy are incredibly high and with the end of the furlough scheme, they are prominent for many right now. However, employers must be aware that high levels of job vacancies and a positive recruitment market are not enough to reassure all employees who are worried about job prospects.

“After all, uncertainty about the future doesn’t always stem from a lack of opportunities – instead, employees may be concerned about their own skill gaps or could be nervous about entering the job market for the first time in years. Consider, too, how much has changed in recruitment recently, from the rising use of AI technology to video interviewing. This transformation can be daunting for new job searchers. For those seeking a change in direction, the process can be a disorientating one.”

The report also shows that while 8 out 10 (83%) employers do provide some form of redundancy support, the kinds of support offered vary greatly. Beyond career and job search support, nearly 4 in 10 (37%) employers expecting redundancies also don’t provide employees with emotional wellbeing support and 6 in 10 (61%) don’t provide welfare or financial education.

As well as this, some employers do not even see a role for redundancy support within their organisation. For these employers, over a third (36%) feel that departing employees are no longer the responsibility of the company.

Parker added: “We know that largely, where they can, employers want to care for and support those whose roles are impacted by redundancy. Yet finding the most effective ways of providing support and communicating it clearly are essential ingredients to create the right impact.  Whether it be financial advice, emotional and wellbeing support or practical career and job search coaching, employers need to listen to what their employees need and communicate clearly to ensure they get the right support to their people when they feel so challenged.”