Fired... what now? Outplacement!

Collective redundancy, individual redundancy, redundancy through restructuring… When an employee is made redundant a period of uncertainty always sets in. What now? Outplacement (the process by which an outplacement agency delivers career coaching) helps employees get their careers up and running again quickly.

Hudson Career Guidance & Outplacement

What is outplacement?

Outplacement is a package of employer-provided services for the employee who has been made redundant or is facing the possibility of redundancy. On an outplacement pathway an external career advisor or job coach is brought in to help the employee process the redundancy psychologically, and intensive personal coaching is given to help him find a suitable and sustainable new job.

An outplacement agency:

  • provides coaching to establish clear goals and ambitions;
  • helps with job applications (writing a CV, preparing for job interviews, using LinkedIn and social media, salary negotiations, etc.);
  • gives administrative and logistic support;
  • organises workshops and info sessions, tests etc.

In other words, the redundant employee is fully prepped for a successful change of career.

Who is entitled to outplacement?

Notice of 30 weeks or more

The General Outplacement Regulations state that employees who are entitled to 30 weeks’ notice or more are entitled to 60 hours of outplacement services (spread over no more than 12 months, and guaranteed for 3 months minimum*). Irrespective of age. The obligation to provide outplacement services does not apply in cases of instant dismissal.

The regulations draw a distinction between:

  • Redundancy with notice: Job application and outplacement services are provided during the garden leave. The employer is duty-bound to offer outplacement services in writing, within 4 weeks of redundancy. Thereafter, the employee has 4 weeks to accept or refuse the offer in writing.
  • Redundancy with severance pay: The employer is duty-bound to offer outplacement services in writing, within 15 days of the notice of redundancy. Four weeks’ salary is deducted from the severance pay (value: at least 1/12 gross annual salary in the calendar year preceding redundancy). The employee has 4 weeks to reply in writing. He/she is not obliged to accept the offer, but 4 weeks’ severance pay will be deducted on refusal in any case.

Notice of less than 30 weeks

What if an employee is entitled to less than 30 weeks’ notice, but has at least one year's seniority? And what if he is at least 45 years old? In that case, the Special Outplacement Regulations apply (only in the private sector and not in the case of instant dismissal). In which case:

  • Outplacement coaching over 12 months (60 hours, guaranteed 3 months minimum*)
  • The employer is duty-bound to offer outplacement services within 15 days of the redundancy. If he does not, fines apply.
  • The employee is obliged to accept the offer within 4 weeks. Employees who refuse to accept the offer risk a suspension of their unemployment benefit (4 to 52 weeks).

Redundancy through restructuring

In the case of redundancy through restructuring it is a requirement that all employees be offered outplacement services, irrespective of age and seniority (with the exception of employees under fixed term contracts, for whom voluntary outplacement services are provided).

*If something goes wrong within 3, 6 or 9 months of starting a new job, the remainder of the outplacement pathway can be taken at no extra cost, provided the 1-year period after commencement is not exceeded.

Want to know more about outplacement or career coaching? Discover the benefits of Hudson outplacement and contact us. Our coaches are on hand to assist you.

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