hi everyone…at work we hav been told there are to be significant redundancies in my dept…i only work part time but am really struggling to keep going as well as raise my family etc my query is if i took voluntary redundancy providing they accepted it would i be entitled to any financial help? my husband works but his wage isnt great and we hav three children any advice appreciated thanx Lisa xx

Hi Lisa,

If you have paid have paid sufficient Nation Insurance during your work (rule of thumb - for last 2 years) you will be entitled to Contribution based Job Seekers Allowance for 26 weeks. Redundancy payments (voluntary or forced)are not considered when awarding a contribution based benefit. Pay in leui of notice is considered however so there may be a waiting period if you get some of this.

If your husband is on a low income you may be entitled to working tax credits council tax benefit and housing benefit (if you are in rented)
A good place to check out your benefit entitlement is a website called you can input your figures and get an accurate assessment.

Another thing to check out is mortgage protection insurance. If you have this you might be entitled to a payout.


Hi Honeypot,

Without knowing your circumstances in detail, it’s difficult to say, but I regard it as unlikely you’d qualify for anything at all.

I was made redundant last year - NOT voluntarily, although, like you, I had been struggling, so in its way, it was almost a relief.

I don’t qualify for (a) anything means tested, because I’m not poor enough (got severance package + critical illness payout in the last couple of years), (b) anything disability related, because I’m not sick enough, or (c) Jobseeker’s, because I’m not actively trying to get back into work, and don’t think I could cope with another full-time job if I got one. To claim, you need to declare yourself ready, willing and able to accept a 40-hour per week job, at 48 hours’ notice. Obviously, I’m not able to give that assurance, as I don’t believe I could accept such a job if it were offered! Ideally, I think I’d want to work a maximum of two days per week, but you can’t sign on, and then present a list of ifs and buts, including that you only want to work so few hours. I’d just be treated as not seriously in search of work, and benefit stopped.

I think, if you leave your previous job voluntarily, it’s some time before you can claim Jobseeker’s anyway, regardless whether you can prove you’re actively looking for a replacement or not. Basically, you can’t choose to be unemployed, but then start claiming money straight away. It’s aimed primarily at those who didn’t have a choice.

Sorry this won’t be what you’re hoping to hear. Your husband’s earnings will probably prevent or limit means tested benefits, even if you don’t walk away with much of a redundancy payout. Working tax credits are a possibility, and maybe housing benefit and/or council tax benefit, if income is very low (though I think the latter is now managed at local level, so local authorities set the eligibility conditions). I don’t know what implication one partner choosing not to work has for any of these benefits. I’d hazard a guess that a couple who have, in effect, chosen to make themselves poorer will have a tough time claiming any of it.

I’m not saying I blame you for thinking this might be the best way forward for you. Regardless that I now don’t qualify for anything, I don’t think I could have carried on as I was for the next twenty years. I think, had I not been made redundant, I might eventually have felt there was no choice but to resign with nothing - never a good move. So it may have come at the right time for me.



Following what Tina has said about availability for full time workand claiming JSA

There is a bit of a get out clause:

If you have a medical condition, you may be able to restrict yourself to particular types of jobs or jobs where you only have to work certain hours. You will have to provide medical evidence to allow you to restrict your availability for work like this.
(From CAB Website)

I don’t know what “medical evidence” they would require -GP or consultant but it’s worth a shot to show that you could only work part time (more than 16 hours)


Thanks Jane,

First I’ve ever heard of that one!

Not sure I could get medical evidence anyway, since all I ever hear is how well I’m doing. I know that’s brilliant in one way, but not so good if you’re trying to prove you couldn’t do a 40-hour week. I was already struggling with 37, and that was working from home, with no commute, and not even having to get dressed if I didn’t want to!

Probably academic anyway, since if I don’t apply before the new tax year - i.e. within the next six months - I’ll lose my entitlement to contribution-based JSA anyway, and won’t qualify for income-based (on grounds of capital, not income).

I can’t see myself making an earnest effort to look for work before April rolls round. I find things harder in Winter, not easier. :frowning:

Again, if I got a job, I doubt I’d be able to accept or keep it. First hint of frost on the ground, and I’m scared to go out, in case I slip over. Could phone in sick for a relapse, but hardly because: “It’s too frosty today”.

Anyway, sorry, Lisa, for taking your original thread off-topic. Hopefully Jane’s info about possible exemptions from having to seek full-time work could prove useful for you too.