In a slight quandry

I am in a slight quandry and don't really know what the options are.

The studio I work with at the moment is going to be bought by a larger organisation however, the organisation has given us 2 choices. Voluntary redundancy or freelance.

I don't know whether to cut my losses and grab the redundancy payout or bite the bullet. I've heard horror stories of freelancers not being paid for weeks after submitting invoices.

My biggest concern is the organisation who is buying us out. They've rushed through this deal and am slightly concerned with the urgency. Why rush?

Should I
a) cut my losses and take the redundancy payout or
b) risk going freelance without any protection if this buy out fails in any way

From a very confused Graphic Designer
Gut feeling would be to go for the redundancy which would leave you with some guaranteed money. This will be a safety net while you look for new full time work or decide to freelance.

Taking the freelance option leaves you with nothing other than a 'possible' source of work when the new company takes off - there's no guarantee you'll be taken back in.

And who knows, you may take the redundancy package and still get freelance work for the same company - better for them to employ someone who is familiar and will fit straight back in.

Good luck.
Thanks PCbranding. The whole setup sounds like a trick.

The company I work for will be bought out by this larger firm (who is subsequently looking to buy other businesses who will probably be subcontractor/freelancers, alarm bells ringing). My boss will then treat his ex employees like freelancers and will decide who will get the job depending on the price each of us will set. It does sound like I am resigning and being brought back in as a freelancer for the bigger group.

I've been with the studio I am with at the moment for 10 years and I am very loyal to them but the flipside is I would feel like a traitor if I just walked out. A decision I really don't want to make.
I'd definitely say take the redundancy. There is, like PCB says, no guarantee that they'll even bother to offer you freelance work once the takeover is complete. Out of curiosity, just how many designers are there being offered this deal? Remember, the company who has bought out the one you work for, already has their own list of freelancers they work with. They call the shots unfortunately.

If you take the redundancy package, you'll have a nice sum of money to sit on whilst you find a new job, which may happen to be this new company if you're lucky. Will they be writing you a testimonial? If not, ask for one.
take the redundancy, without doubt, whats to sopt you fishing for work anyway from them.

in any event people that buyout agencies are in essence just buying clients... watchout - take the redundancy.

thye have not been loyal to you. you get paid for youe work each month - there is no loyalty
From what I understand they already own another group who are the sub contractors and the group will be using us as freelancers to do work. There are 4 in the studio I work in. 3 of us will be freelancers.

The company who will buy us will potentially buy other studios (animation, digital, exhibition, PR etc) who specialise in other areas to compliment what I do (print). These as I understand will also be employed as freelancers. In short will create a supergroup who will specialise in all areas and work will be sourced within the collective.
I had a few close friends in an architecture firm that was bought by a larger firm as they where in trouble and they made all the staff redundant giving them redundancy pay and then took then on as freelancers on four days a week. If I was you then I would take the redundancy as they don't seem like a great company.

So far they have ofered you nothing apart from what they absolutly have to and then theyre saying if you take the bare minimum we wont give you any freelance work, why?!? surely they should do both.
Having faced that situation in a way recently I would take the money and run! After 10 years you will get a bit to keep you going while you either find another job or go freelance. Takeovers nowadays are really only after turnover and will get rid of staff as soon as they can!
Thanks Katedesign :) How long does redundancy monies take to come through?

Having just had a meeting with my colleagues I have found out the company who I will be freelancing for have around £700k worth of work and only about £100k is print but we can still pitch for our own clients as I understand. I suppose they are a back up to our own clients. I could take the redundancy and may not find a job or go freelance for this company and be part of something exciting. Everyone else seem to want to be part of it. I really have no idea what to do.
I sent my boss an email saying
I was wondering if I could have a little more time to think about the options or is it now too late

I’m a little nervous that ------------ may or may not cut off their existing ties with freelancers they already use for the work they are currently doing
and favour ------, unless they can give absolute, categorical assurance that they wont.

I am in two minds a) be part of something exciting or b) cut my losses, be a freelancer and lose all entitlement to redundancy payout.

I don’t want to take the redundancy route but I really do need a guarantee that --------- can fulfill this promise.

I want to talk to people over the weekend and gage their reactions. Hopefully they will not persuade me in the direction I don’t want to take.

I needed proper answers
As others have said - go for both. Take the redundancy funds and pitch for freelance (you will of course also have an open market of suppliers to pitch to).
They're offering redundancy or freelance because, in a genuine redundancy situation, they will be unable to re-employ you - even on a casual vasis - into a role that has legally ceased to exist (that would basically amount to tax fraud). I'm not sure what the limitations are on this but, if you take the pay-off, I wouldn't expect them to be putting any work your way for at least six months, perhaps longer.
OK. I have been given more info on the situation

The studio I currently work for will still operate as a limited company who will share workload from another studio who we will be sharing office space. The freelance option meant that there would be no massive overheads and would enable us to generate more business through ourselves and the agency we will be sharing with. As I understand it, it will be on a temporary basis until things settle and we can operate at a level that is sustainable ( I didn't realise things were this bad), however no timescale has been given other than to be freelance til we break even. Should I now reconsider or just go with the flow and see what happens?
They're offering redundancy or freelance because, in a genuine redundancy situation, they will be unable to re-employ you - even on a casual vasis - into a role that has legally ceased to exist

They would not be re-employing the OP into a position that has ceased to exist. The theoretical potential is for tendering for ad hoc projects.
I have had another thought.

If I took the redundancy route, take the payout, set myself up as a freelancer/self employment, come back to my employer as a freelancer. Work for my existing employer for 3 days and another agency for 2 days. Send out my CV to recruitment agencies.

Would this idea work?
Probably the best way to go, but still doesn't mean you'd be selected for guaranteed freelance work. That'll always be pot luck. Unless of course they've already said they'd do that for you.