Hope on the horizon
Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca announced in late 2020 that their respective vaccines had proven to be around 90% effective and were subsequently approved for widespread use, providing a chink of hope on the long COVID-19 horizon. However, we’re still very much in the eye of the storm, and it’s wise to remain cautious as we continue to feel the many reverberations from the viral outbreak.
One such knock-on effect has been seen in the wave of redundancies over the past few months. The unemployment rate in the UK peaked to its highest level in almost four years in the three months to September, with 314,000 redundancies reported1, and employers made further job cuts ahead of the anticipated end of the furlough period in October – this was then, of course, extended to April 2021 at the last moment, which came too late for many employees.
Losing your job can understandably be a veritable blow, especially for someone who might already be facing hardship. The sheer upheaval of recent months has made many people rethink their financial priorities, observes Melloney Underhill, Marketing Insights Manager at St. James’s Place Wealth Management.
“This increased awareness of our financial fragility, while unsettling, may well hold the silver lining for our future selves,” she says. “The uncertainty that has been ebbing and flowing over the last few months has resulted in many households reducing their spending, often by more than their income has reduced.”
Employees who have worked for at least two years are entitled to statutory redundancy pay from their employer, with the exact amount calculated according to age, weekly pay and number of years in the job. You also might receive an additional sum, depending on your contract.
Despite it being a challenging situation to be made redundant, there are many options as to how to make use of a lump-sum payout, and naturally, you want to be sure that you can make the most of this. Read on for some points worthy of consideration.