Spanner in the Works

So we had our all employees meeting this morning, the dreaded one to confirm New Co’s plans for re-organisation.

I was hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

We got hit by the worst.


At the last meeting, the European CEO of New Co had assured us that they intended to maintain a presence (office) in Manchester for the long term.

He wasn’t telling fibs but what has now been revealed is that the ‘presence’ will be a mere skeleton staff and that ‘certain’ roles will be relocated to HQ down south. That’s nearly 50% of the staff being made redundant.

Oh bollocks.

Abandon Ship?

Ok, not totally unexpected despite things looking slightly positive of late, but still a slap in the face that I couldn’t quite dodge.

I don’t think it’s quite sunk in.

I don’t feel upset, anxious or worried (yet), I feel….annoyance that my FI plans have suffered a setback before I could get some more solid years of saving and investing in.

Of course, I am not abandoning my plans – FI/early retirement is still something I’m going to strive for, but certainly at some point very soon, my savings rate will take a sharp nose dive/ be non-existent until I get my feet back on the ground with another job and can make amends for this temporary setback.

No real info on severance packages or exact timelines just yet – that will come tomorrow or in the week to come.

How bloody annoying. 🙁

12 thoughts on “Spanner in the Works

  1. Weenie, oh no! Are you definitely going to be among those made redundant? … Either way, if it was me I think I would start looking for another job right away, just to give me more of a sense of control over what was happening. I hope it doesn’t take you too long to sort everything out. 🙁

  2. Really sorry to hear of the bad news. I imagine as much as you prepare yourself for this, it must be really difficult to actually receive it.

    Stay positive if possible. I am sure when and if this door closes, another two will open up for you which may lead to better long term prospects.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your situation Weenie!

    It sounds like you’re looking at things very rationally, which is always the best way to handle these situations. Indeed, if it turns out to be redundancy.

    You’re budgeting to date will help you immensely if it does go down that route.

    I would agree with Cathy’s advice and start taking proactive action on alternative employment – You might be forced into that decision, and you’re keeping the wee ‘monkey brain’ at bay by controlling the situation.

    If there’s anything I can do to help please let me know!

  4. That totally sucks!

    On a positive note would you be due a big pay out? You’ve been there quite a long time haven’t you?

    If you can source a new job soon and still get the redundancy money it could even boost the freedom fund.

    Fingers crossed it works out for you.

  5. Hi Weenie,

    I am so sorry to hear the news – as others have said above, I would start looking now (even if you find something and they offer you a great job, you dont have to take it :)) – get ahead of the curve (unless you fancy moving down south to more expensive house prices and living costs of course…!) of the others! You have been careful and built up savings which puts you in a much better situation than I would guess most of your colleagues, but it still doesnt make it any easier (I’ve been through 3 rounds of redundancies, so I know the stress).

    Get the CV up to date, get hunting and see what is out there, and see what New Co offers you – fingers crossed and hoping for the best!
    London Rob

  6. Hi Weenie, sorry to hear that this has happened, but increasingly it’s the way of the world. It seems to me that you’ve got the positivity and energy to take control of the situation, and that should put you in good shape to make the best out of it. I certainly felt that a lot of what I’d learned from the FIRE community helped me, and continues to help me, in trying to plan for the future. The more you think through what you want to do, and then start taking steps to doing it, the better the outcome will be. (But you know that anyway!) 😉 Good luck, keep us posted.

  7. Hey Weenie,

    Sorry that you’ve got some added uncertainty on your plate but pleased that you can see this as the annoyance that it is rather than something terrifying. It sounds like your saving and planning have put you in a strong position to deal with whatever comes your way next.

    Take care of yourself,


  8. Hi weenie, so sorry it played out this way. Even though you have known redundancy could be the final outcome for a while, the odds on this actually materialising must have come as a real shock. Fingers crossed you dodge that bullet or, if not, manage to come out with a decent settlement.

  9. @All

    Thank you very much for the kind words of support.

    Whilst I don’t know that I will definitely go, my job is flagged as ‘at risk’. I have not received a final date yet.

    I will certainly be working on my CV asap (taking advantage of New Co’s offer for such training) and have already contacted people in my network to see what’s out there.

    I am staying positive but I must also stay realistic, otherwise I could end up the other way, ie in denial!

    @TFS – I’ve been at the company for 20.5 years so the payout should be ok. They have yet to confirm the exact severance package but all they’ve said is that it will be enhanced, ie better than statutory.

    I’ll post more when I know. Thanks again for your support, it is very much appreciated.

  10. This is what the “synergy benefits” in takeovers look like. Large number of redundancies in the company being bought is always the most likely outcome of a takeover – hence the name

    When companies we invest in do this and the share price goes up everyone thinks its great

    I wouldn’t get your hopes up about the redundancy package. Why be generous when they are leaving town?

    +£1 more than statutory redundancy is still “better than statutory redundancy

    • As far as I know, the redundancy package will be ‘enhanced’ but like you say, +£1 more than statutory could still be classed as enhanced!

      I’m not holding out for some grand generous gesture on their part but they still need the people here to keep their business going and help with integration for at least a couple of months until their own folk can absorb the extra work.

  11. Hi Weenie,

    So sorry to hear of this news, what a blow. I too have been through a redundancy and it’s a very unsettling time even if you know that you’ve got savings to back you up. When I went through it I found strength and reassurance from bonding with the others around me in the same situation. In fact we still meet up as a large group about twice a year, 4+ years later.

    Many people told me at the time that people who go through redundancy often come out the other side in a better and stronger position. I found it hard to believe or have the faith to believe that it could be so. But from my experience of about 30 of us going through it, I think every one of us went on to find something even better than we had before. For me, going through redundancy was the push I needed to go-it-alone and start freelancing and I’ve never looked back. You could always consider contracting too…particularly if you’re able to travel a bit to work, hence giving yourself a wide net of contract opportunities. A “medium” commute feels achievable when you know that it will only be for say 6 months at a time.

    Anyway, I wish you well, I hope things pan out for the best for you, and like Huw said, if there’s anything I can do to help…reading cv’s, interview practice etc do let me know.


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