Redundancy help in Scotland

Advice to help you deal with redundancy, understand your rights and find out where to get support.

Redundancy support from PACE

PACE logo

If you’ve been made redundant or are facing redundancy, it’s likely you’ll have a lot of questions. The information on this page will help to answer some of them, as you go through the process.

If you'd rather speak face-to-face with someone, we can give you the support and advice you need to work out your next step.

Contact Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) on 0800 917 8000 for free, impartial advice. You can also drop in to, or contact your local SDS centre.

Support for oil and gas workers

Been affected by the recent changes in the oil and gas industry? You could be eligible for the Transition Training Fund. Find out about this and other resources which could help.

Ten things your PACE adviser can help with

If you've been made redundant, our advisers can help with:

Interview preparation

Help you understand what to expect, and how to make a good impression on employers.

Applying for jobs

Put together CVs, application forms and cover letters.

Starting your own business

Put you in touch with people who can help you get your ideas off the ground.

Managing your finances

Put you in touch with experts to help you work out your budget.

Taxes and benefits

Help you find support to check which benefits you may be entitled to, and review your tax calculations.

Exploring your options

Help you identify the options and opportunities available to you.

Looking for jobs

Find out where to look, how to find opportunities and how to network.

Finding support with reading, writing and numbers

To help you build the skills you need.

Coping with stress

Redundancy is a stressful time, but advisers can point you in the direction of help and support.

Understanding the redundancy process, your rights and entitlements

So that you know where you stand. 

All of your local contacts in one guide

You'll find local and national PACE guides on the Skills Development Scotland website, These are full of details on who can help when you’re being made redundant, including contacts for your local council, SDS centres, Jobcentre Plus and other organisations.

PACE is a free Scottish Government scheme. 

Your rights and entitlements

First, you'll probably want to know what your rights are when you're being made redundant.

Employers make redundancies for lots of reasons. They might be facing a strong competitor, it could be because of the wider economy, falling profits or demand, or changes in technology. The first thing they should do is let you know what's going on. 


You employer needs to be fair when selecting people for redundancy. So, they might ask for volunteers, operate a last in first out policy or take disciplinary records and experience into account. You might be asked to reapply for your job.

There are also things they can't select you based on. These include gender, sexual orientation or disability – see the full list on You can appeal if you feel your selection has been unfair.

Five key things you might be entitled to:

  1. Redundancy pay: You'll normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you're an employee and you've been working for your current employer for two years or more
  2. A notice period: You must be given a notice period before your employment ends. How long this is may depend on the number of people being made redundant
  3. A consultation with your employer: You’re entitled to a consultation about why you’re being made redundant, and to discuss if there are any alternatives
  4. The option to move into a different job: You might be offered suitable alternative employment in your own company or an associated company
  5. Time off to find a new job

Visit for more advice on your rights if you've been made redundant. You can also call the redundancy payments helpline for advice on 0845 145 0004 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Useful resources

  • For free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues, you can contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service on 0845 7474 747 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also provide free and impartial advice on employment and your rights
  • Contact The Insolvency Service to find out more about the way that statutory redundancy pay is calculated and query any doubts about your own redundancy pay total
  • The Scottish Trades Union Congress offers advice and representation on a range of issues including coping with your redundancy. Phone 0141 337 8100

Taxes, finance and benefits

The next concern for a lot of people is what happens with money. It can be tricky to work out things like taxes and benefits – but help is available. 

Useful places to get free advice

  • The Money Advice Service offers unbiased financial advice to help you manage your money better. Their advice is available online, over the phone and face-to-face. Call 0300 500 500
  • The National Debtline offers free, confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. Phone 0808 808 4000
  • You can get free, confidential and independent advice from Citizens Advice Direct. Call 0844 848 9600
  • Step Change is a charity providing free, impartial and realistic advice to people in financial difficulty
  • If you're in debt and facing insolvency find advice from the Insolvency Service

What have I got to offer?

Taking stock of where you are is important before you decide what comes next.

Your My World of Work account can help.

  • Strengths helps you find out where your strengths lie. You'll get advice on jobs and courses which would suit you, to help you figure out where you could fit in the jobs market
  • Skills lets you identify your skills and start thinking about where you can use them. You can identify your transferable skills – things which you already have experience in and can take to a new job. The information in What are my skills? also helps you understand what skills employers want to see
  • About me gives you an idea of how your interests and likes can feed in to a fulfilling career
  • The experience and education sections help you review your work history and qualifications. This reminds you of what you've already achieved and means you're prepared when it comes to selling yourself to an employer. It also lets you spot any gaps in your knowledge and think about things like retraining

Where next?

Being made redundant can be a daunting time for anyone. But it's also an opportunity think about where you want your career to go. You could look for opportunities in the same kind of job, or try something totally new. It’s important to know what’s out there in terms of opportunities.

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Explore your options

  • Use the My career options search here on My World of Work to find out more about different job roles and growth industries in Scotland. The tools in your account will help you filter your results to discover jobs which suit you
  • If you’re thinking of changing your career, you might find the advice in the career changes section helpful
  • Knowing what’s happening in the jobs market can be helpful. You can use the publications search on the Skills Development Scotland site to find information about the jobs market in your area
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Learn something new

Do you want to retrain before your next move?

  • Check out the Learn and train search to find courses throughout Scotland
  • Find out about funding, including Individual Learning Accounts
  • Have you considered a Modern Apprenticeship? You can earn while you learn
  • Unsure about going back to learning? Find out what support is available to adult learners through SWAP
  • Need help with reading, writing or numbers? The Big Plus can help. It’s free, and open to adults of all ages. Phone 0800 917 8000 to find out more or visit The Big Plus website
Graphic of a CV

Get sorted – looking for a job

The Getting a Job section has all the advice and information you need on job hunting and applying for jobs.

Setting goals

Once you’ve identified your options after redundancy, the next step is to set some goals. This means creating an plan which will help you move forward. 

Creating an action plan

Your action plan can be as simple as writing a few bullet points about what your situation is, what you want to do, and what steps you need to take to achieve that.

For example, some points might include.

  • Need to look for a new job for first time in 20 years
  • Want to move into a different type of work
  • Discuss my ideas with my Careers Adviser 
  • Speak to someone in that job to see if it sounds like it's for me
  • Look into courses and retraining
  • Look for volunteering opportunities
  • Look into funding for courses
  • Update my CV

Coping with redundancy

It’s worth preparing for the feelings which come along with redundancy, as well as the decisions you’ll need to make. It can be a real shock – whether you’ve been in a role for many years, or you’re just starting out in your career.

Most people will experience what psychologists term the five stages of loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. It’s understandable if you don’t feel your normal self, or if your confidence takes a knock. Take some time to think about how you’re feeling, or discuss it with someone you trust.

Bear in mind that this change could be as much an opportunity as it is a challenge. Rather than thinking about what you’ve lost, think about your future. Try and focus things like anger into energy.

If you’re finding it difficult to cope, you can get support. Try these services:

How PACE helped Michelle

Michele outside the coastguard station

After being made redundant from her job as a senior administrator, Michele needed advice on applying for jobs. 

She met with PACE advisers who helped her rethink the way she was writing CVs and application forms.

Now, she's doing her dream job with HM Coastguard.

Find out more about how PACE helped Michele.

From redundancy to Modern Apprentice

Katy MacKay

When Katy MacKay was made redundant at 18, she wasn't sure what to do next. 

But an opportunity for a Modern Apprenticeship got her back on track and into a whole new career.

Find out what happened.

Are you an employer?

PACE advisers can help employers who are planning or thinking of making redundancies, too. Find out how we can support you and your staff on Our Skillsforce.