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17/01/2013

Joint initiative helps 100,000 facing redundancy

Public and private sector join forces to help minimise stress for those made redundant as a consequence of insolvency and ensure they are able to find alternative employment as quickly as possible.

R3, the trade body for insolvency professionals, Jobcentre Plus and the Insolvency Service today released a report which shows that over 100,000 people have been helped by a public sector and private partnership designed to provide ‘early warning’ of pending redundancies. Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, came up with the idea three years ago after seeing the confusion his constituents faced when made redundant as a consequence of insolvency.

Under this initiative since October 2009, Insolvency Practitioners are encouraged to warn Jobcentre Plus and the Insolvency Service as soon as they think there are likely to be more than 20 redundancies. This enables Jobcentre Plus to deploy their Rapid Response Service resources in the best way to help those individuals find new employment, claim benefits and access training.

The partnership in practice:

Manufacturer, Kent, 350 employees affected
In January 2012, Thamesteel in Kent went into insolvency. In agreement with the Insolvency Practitioner, Jobcentre Plus and partner organisations were able to visit the site and work with the employees to provide redundancy advice. When Jobcentre Plus arrived on site they met Jake Underdown, who had set up a support network and organised an event for 350 of his colleagues. One of the partnership organisations invited to Thamesteel, JHP Employability, were so impressed with Jake that they offered him a job as an Employment Solutions Consultant. Jake now works helping to support those who have been made redundant get back into work.

Consultancy and outsourcing company, Northumberland, 70 staff affected
When this business entered into administration, the Insolvency Practitioner contacted Jobcentre Plus for their assistance. The notice given allowed Jobcentre Plus to go on site and give a presentation to the employees and engage with local work assistance providers to identify suitable vacancies. At the meeting, a number of employees took the offer of training and 15 staff found employment that day.

Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefield comments:

“Losing a job is one of the most difficult situations people can face in their lifetime. It is essential that they receive the correct information at the right time to help them find new employment. Helping over 100,000 people in the last three years is an excellent achievement and shows what can be accomplished through partnership working, without resorting to additional regulation. The Memorandum has already helped support thousands of individuals and with many businesses continuing to struggle, it will play a key role for some time to come.”

R3 President Lee Manning comments:

“Unfortunately, the insolvency profession sees the human cost of business failure on a daily basis. Employees face the unwelcome prospect of having to find new employment at a confusing and stressful time. Whilst the economic climate remains uncertain it is even more important that insolvency practitioners are able to work with expert government agencies to ensure that those facing redundancy are given as much support as possible at a very distressing time.”

Sarah Cole, Jobcentre Plus comments:

"Having a greater understanding of the critical factors that can contribute to a business becoming insolvent has been a great source of intelligence and enables Jobcentre Plus to plan our response accordingly.”


Jane Young, The Insolvency Service comments:

“People who lose their jobs through redundancy face a stressful and confusing time. Advance notice of insolvencies from insolvency practitioners enables The Insolvency Service to plan its resources so that claims can be assessed quickly and efficiently.”


For further information please contact:
Will Black, R3 Communications Manager
t: 020 7566 4215 m: 07917 422 485 e: will.black@r3.org.uk


Notes to editors:

– R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals, and is made up of 97% of the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners. Website www.r3.org.uk
– The Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service aims to address the effects of job losses on individuals and on the local community by helping people move rapidly into alternative employment without the need to claim welfare benefits. To find out how the Rapid Response Service can help, email rrs.enquiries@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk.
– In Scotland, Rapid Response Service support is delivered through Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) - there’s more information on the Skills Development Scotland website .
– In Wales, the service is delivered by the Redundancy Action Scheme. 
– The principle objective of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to bring together colleagues from R3, the insolvency trade body; Jobcentre Plus and the Insolvency Service to share intelligence and knowledge to help improve the services to employers and individuals facing redundancy as a consequence of insolvency.
– For information about The Redundancy Payments Service, part of The Insolvency Service, please see here 
 

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see www.r3.org.uk for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
     
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.