European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure GB-2002-14/2466 – measures in United Kingdom

Rapid Response Service (RRS)

Rapid Response Service (RRS)

Country United Kingdom , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 April 2002
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 04 January 2023)

Background information

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. In Scotland, this service is delivered through Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE). In Wales, it is delivered by the ReAct scheme .

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.

Content of measure

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. 

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.

Use of measure

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.

An example of the application of the RRS is Thomas Cook.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Local / regional government
Public employment service
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), Rapid Response Service (RRS), measure GB-2002-14/2466 (measures in United Kingdom), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.