25 euphemisms for “You’ve been made redundant”

posted by in Living with debt

A worker is made redundant

“We’re gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get…”

Recently UK unemployment reached its highest level for 17 years. The figures – 2.57m jobless – made for grim reading.

And this week we registered our alarm at redundancy figures released by the Office of National Statistics (see yesterday’s post on the subject).

In light of current events we’ve been following answers submitted by the public to “What are the most creative euphemisms for layoffs?” on the social network Quora. It’s made for blackly comic reading.

Given that one of the MoneyAware team was once made redundant due to “headcount realignment” (no joke) we thought we’d list 25 other euphemisms used to try to soften the blow of redundancy (a euphemism in itself when you think about it).

“Stating the bleeding obvious” would be more appropriate…

  1. “We’re re-balancing our workforce”
  2. “We’ve reallocated our resources”
  3. “We think that fewer people will be wearing more hats”
  4. “We’re giving you time to pursue other opportunities”
  5. “We’re focusing on involuntary attrition”
  6. “We’re rightsizing the company”
  7. “We think you’re missing a trick by not getting out there and going for some juicy contract work”
  8. “We’re giving you indefinite unpaid leave with the option to pursue new employment”
  9. “We’re eliminating redundancy”
  10. “We’re smart-sizing”
  11. “We’re redeploying workers with excess capacity to areas where demand matches the market”
  12. “We’re rewiring for growth”
  13. “You’re not being fired. We’re simply eliminating this position”
  14. “We don’t know how this office would run without you, but as of Monday, we’re going to try and find out”
  15. “We’re reducing our force”
  16. “We’re promoting you to a position you’re more suited for with a different employer in the future”
  17. “We’re trimming the fat”
  18. “We’re optimising our resources”
  19. “We’ve decided that you can spend more time with your family”
  20. “We need your chair “
  21. “We’re recycling our creative pool”
  22. “We’re maximising our throughput by streamlining our workforce”
  23. “We’re rethinking our future”
  24. “We’re inviting you to be successful elsewhere”
  25. And if nothing else…”We don’t think of it as you being fired. We think of it as you being recognized for your incompetence”

If you’re suffering after losing your job get in touch with us for debt help or read our redundancy guide. We’re dedicated to helping you in plain English without resorting to buzzwords.

Thanks to Quora submitters Gerard F Corbett, Lisa Kryger, Jann Van Hamersveld, John Bauer, Jeremiah Owyang, Andrew Walker, Mike Barnard, Paul Duncan, Lorna Hughes, Martijn Sjoorda, John Gillis, Pia Simeoni, Mike Moradi, Tracey Bryan, Jeffrey Hammond, Mark Hughes, Marcus Geduld, Amory Kelie, Mark Harrison, Ian McAllister, Garrick Saito, George André and Bill Petro.
Peer's the digital content manager at StepChange Debt Charity. Apart from contributing to the MoneyAware blog and overseeing the charity's website and social media content, he’s walked to the top of every mountain and hill in the Lake District. Twice.

Written by

Tags Living with debt