EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Rapid Response Service (RRS)

United Kingdom
Phase: Management
  • Advice
  • Training
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Native name:

Rapid Response Service (RRS)

English name:

Rapid Response Service (RRS)


Coverage extends to organisations and their employees facing redundancies. All people impacted by redundancy are eligible to access the services offered by RRS, this includes: those under threat of redundancy but who are still employed; those under notice of redundancy but who are still employed; those who lose their jobs in companies which are in the supply chain of a larger company making redundancies; and those who lose their jobs in a location designated as having RRS status by Jobcentre Plus; those indirectly losing their jobs as a ma result of the redundancy and those whose redundancy period has elapsed, regardless of whether or not they have made a claim for benefits. In Scotland, this service is delivered through Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE). In Wales, it is delivered by the ReAct scheme.

Main characteristics

Jobcentre Plus support under the Rapid Response Service (RRS) includes helping workers facing redundancies with drafting their CVs, general advice about benefits, helping workers identify transferable skills and training needs, providing training in vocational skills and assistance with costs like travel to work expenses. 

Workers can access the Rapid Response Service if they suspect they are going to be made redundant, during their notice period and up to 13 weeks after they have been made redundant.

Jobcentre Plus also provides fast-track access for large scale redundancies. This service includes on-site advice; links and referrals to other agencies; information and advice about job vacancies and training opportunities; skills and training need analysis; training; and one-off payments for expenses associated with obtaining new employment. 

The Rapid Response Service is provided as part of the services provided by local Jobcentre Plus offices. In England the service is funded from national funds via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), however, there is no information available on the budget allocated to RRS.


  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Great Britain's Department of Work and Pensions (DWP); In Scotland, Rapid Response Service support is delivered through Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) (see PACE in ERM database on restructuring support instruments); In Wales, the service is delivered by the Redundancy Action Scheme.
Regional/local government
Cooperation with local authorities and in England, with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).
Public employment services
Jobcentre Plus
Employer or employee organisations
Cooperation with trade unions and employer organisations.
Government agency Jobcentre Plus is responsible for the service. ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provides an online redundancy helpline. Acas is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), providing free and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives on employment rights, best practice and policies.


As of June 2020, updated statistics have not been published for several years. Between April 2002 and January 2003, the Rapid Response Service (RRS) provided new and continued support to 178 projects covering over 210 companies that were making over 70,000 people redundant. Around 10,000 people took up services offered under RRS, with the majority receiving information, advice and guidance (nearly 7,900) and skills and training analysis (3,300). Training was offered to 970 persons only. Over 60% of individuals whose destinations are known moved into employment following RRS, and the majority of these people were still in work four weeks later.


The fast-track service for large-scale redundancies is an on-site measure and is a fast and responsive service. It leads to an improved relationship between Jobcentre Plus and employers and to improved use of labour market information at regional and local levels.


The fast-track service is provided proactively only in cases where 20 or more redundancies are planned. This clearly limits the accessibility of SMEs to the scheme. 


Thomas Cook
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