Insolvency trade body R3 has been working with the Insolvency Service and Jobcentre Plus under the memorandum of understanding, an information sharing scheme originally pioneered by Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson.
Under the initiative, IPs give early warning of impending redundancies to Jobcentre Plus wherever possible, which helps the agency provide support to affected employees.
The scheme has so far helped 32,000 employees facing redundancy to find new employment, claim benefits and access training.
The memorandum was originally signed in 2009 by Jim Knight and Ian Lucas, the employment and business ministers at the time. There has since been routine information sharing and liaison between Jobcentre Plus and IPs.
A new memorandum, aiming to foster yet closer working between partners, will be signed by Chris Grayling, minister for employment and Edward Davey, minister for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs.
Davey said: “It is right to recognise the success of this public private partnership. Through this re-signing I encourage all parties to commit to do more; ensuring that when a company announces its insolvency all employees are given quick access to the information and advice that will help them claim benefits, access training and find new employment.”
Wilson said: “Losing a job is one of the most difficult situations people can face in their lifetime. It’s essential that they receive the right information at the right time to help them access training, claim benefits and find new employment.”
R3 president Frances Coulson said: “The insolvency profession sees the human cost of business failure on a daily basis.
“The memorandum helps us to work with expert government agencies to ensure that those facing redundancy are given as much support as possible at a very distressing time.”
In one case study, from January last year, the scheme supported staff at a specialist vehicle builder based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, when it entered administration with 150 redundancies.
The administrator spoke to the Jobcentre Plus rapid response service to agree the level of support for employees.
The administrator was then able to tell staff that Jobcentre Plus was there to help and local Jobcentre managers were prepared for an influx of claims.
information packs including contact details of the Redundancy Payments Service, at the Insolvency Service, with advice on benefit and redundancy claims were distributed to staff.
Around 40 staff were supported through the closure of their employer with practical advice about making a claim via the Redundancy Payments Service.