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Redundancy

If you’re employed by a school or local authority they must meet certain legal requirements if they make you redundant. The following information is a guide to what to expect and what you should do.

Contact the Musicians’ Union

Contact your MU Regional Office immediately if you are advised you are at ‘risk’ of redundancy, or you are notified of possible changes to your contract. The MU will advise you on your rights and check the employer meets their obligations.

Union recognition

Your employer may tell you they are contacting the unions. They are unlikely to contact the MU (due to local authority rules) so please contact us directly. Be ready to provide as much information as possible.

How to prepare

Find all paperwork relating to your work, e.g. P60s, wage slips and contracts. Confirming your employment status is the most important step in determining your rights and so the more paperwork you can provide us with, the better. Check your entitlement to benefits. These change all the time but they may help with council tax, interest on mortgage payments, job seekers’ allowance, child tax credits etc. until you find alternative work.

Time limits apply in legal processes so it is important for you to respond to MU correspondence promptly, within a day or two. Tell us about consultation meetings in good time – wherever possible we will attend. Don’t sign or agree to anything with your employer without consulting the MU first. Don’t trust your employer even if you have previously had a good relationship with them. They will be under pressure from their managers to save the organisation money. You should not rely on them having your best interests in mind.

Try not to despair. Redundancy is frightening and unsettling. It presents real financial and practical challenges especially if the job is your primary source of income. Over time and with support people can find new ways to earn their living.

The MU has worked with a number of Teaching Co-operatives formed when groups of teachers have been made redundant.