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If You Are Retrenched

Retrenchments are sadly about to increase dramatically as the effects of the Pandemic and Lockdown hit hard. In order to keep some staff employed companies are going to have to let some staff go (salaries are one of any company’s biggest overheads). There have been predictions of unemployment in SA going up to 50% and provinces like Gauteng are expecting about 2 million job losses in the next few months.

Claim UIF

If your employer has been paying UIF then you will be able to claim unemployment for many months to help you get through.

Claim Social Relief of Distress Grant

For the next few months, each unemployed person (even if not employed in the past) will be able to claim the SRD grant of R350/month. If you never paid UIF in the past or if your employer never paid UIF you will still be able to claim this grant. If you are over 18, do not receive any other income and are not getting any other social grant. For more info send a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456 and selecting SASSA or send an E-mail to

Claim against your Credit Life Insurance

Immediately investigate claiming from your various credit providers’ (credit life) insurance, as almost all will pay out if you are retrenched and will cover the monthly minimum debt repayment for several months. This will help you avoid any stress on that front.

Start Job Hunting The Next Day

If you lose your job then make your new daily “job” that of looking for a job. Set aside a certain amount of time each day in which to do that. Get dressed and get busy. Contact firms you have worked with in the past (as clients or suppliers) as you have established contact s and a reputation here. Ask your network of friends and family to share a mini CV with all their contacts. Put your CV online on portals and with agencies but don’t sit back and relax. Research firms you would like to work for and why you would be a good fit for their teams and then go see the boss and pitch your services.

‘make your new daily “job” that of looking for a job’

Be prepared for a pay cut at your new job as competition for work is going to be high and salaries will probably reflect the current economic collapse. You should also be prepared to work at any available job rather than be picky and end up homeless and hungry. Even if you do become employed at a job you do not enjoy or doesn’t pay enough, it will help you pay some bills while you continue your job search for the perfect job in the background.


Start Your Own Business

You may want to look into starting your own small business while you are searching for employment with someone else. Who knows? You may be the best boss you have ever worked for and never look back.

Consider Debt Review

If you have some household income then you may still be able to take advantage of debt review. Speak to a Debt Counsellor who will offer you some good advice about budgeting anyway but may also feel that debt review is a good strategy for you. They will consider your total household income from all (including grants, UIF, part time work etc) and figure out if a court will be able to offer relief through restructuring your debt.


If You are Already in Debt Review

If you are already in debt review then you should talk to your Debt Counsellor immediately about losing your job. Do not delay. Do this straight away the following day. They will help you to firstly review your budget and any payouts you may get from the firm. Next, they will discuss with you your household income and if it is viable to adjust the monthly debt repayments (via the courts again). They may be able to assist you with credit life insurance claims (or advice on how to do that). They may be able to contact your credit providers about a short payment holiday while you search for work. Ultimately, it may involve the matter going back to court if the repayment amount is going to have to drop by a large amount. Or it may be that debt review will no longer be the best option and then they can help you prepare for what will happen next outside of debt review.

Get Busy Looking

One of the biggest dangers with losing your job is that many of us foolishly link our personal worth to the job that we have. Losing a job can be a real blow for more reasons than not receiving a paycheck. Make sure you stay positive, make the best use of your time each day to look for work (several hours every day), to make yourself better able to do a job (maybe some training or free online learning), and staying active with exercise and caring for household chores. The more hours you put into trying to find a job the more likely you are to find something.



This article first appeared in the May issue of Debtfree Magazine.