Given the united-kingdom tag it is worth mentioning that things are a bit different here than in the States.
If they decide that they want to get rid of you but don't want to go through the long-winded disciplinary route, there are a lot of legal pitfalls that they have to dodge, to avoid being taken to a tribunal for unfair dismissal.
If you know the rules they have to follow, you have a pretty strong position. But note that all of this only applies if you've been working there over 12 months. You really have no rights in that first year.
Edit: The above has been extended to 24 months, for anyone hired after 6 April 2012.
First thing to know is that a company does not make a person redundant. They make a role redundant. This means a couple of things:
They cannot hire into that role for the next 6 months or more. And the role is not defined by title, they cannot hire someone to do your job under a different name.
They have to offer you other roles within the company. And they have to work with you for up to 30 days to try to find you an alternate position. Now they can make this very difficult, they can make you interview for those roles and they can quietly hint to the people interviewing you that you shouldn't get the job.
But still, you have 30 days from the first meeting to your last day, if you need to drag it out. Add to that your contractual notice period, which is usually more like 1-3 months than the 2 weeks that is common in the States. That's how long it's going to be before you get your P45.
Finally, add to that statutory redundancy, which is
- 0.5 weeks for every year you worked for them between ages 16 and 21.
- 1 week for every year you worked for them between ages 22 and 40.
- 1.5 weeks for every year you've worked for them over the age of 41.
Statutory redundancy is capped at £430 a week but is not taxable.
Add all of that up and you've usually got a fair amount of room to breathe between that first meeting and running short of money.
Also, knowing all this, many companies will not want to go through the hassle and may offer you more to leave quietly. They'll try to avoid it but, if you clearly know the rules, it's not at all uncommon for a company to make you a decent offer. (This has happened to me more than once in 5 jobs.)
So, don't panic yet, unless you've been there less than a year. But, it's my experience that once you get that feeling that things are falling apart, you're probably right. Certainly tidy up your CV and start preparing yourself to leave.
Afterthought Edit: There is one downside to all this. If the company actually declares bankruptcy, there are no jobs to offer, so you lose your 30 days there. And, worse, you end up at the back of the queue of creditors looking for money from them. You'll get your notice and your statutory redundancy, eventually, but you won't necessarily get it when you need it most. I remember my father getting a redundancy payment over 20 years after he was made redundant. But you should see this coming a long way off.