Redundancy usually leaves us with little choice other than to accept that we have lost our job. However, voluntary redundancy can leave you with more control over your own situation. It offers all of the same rights as a standard redundancy but sometimes has a few extra perks...
Why would I?
Often voluntary redundancy comes with extra money or a better severance package so you could be left with added financial security. However, in this current jobs market it’s worth looking at whether the extra money is worth it if you don’t have another job lined up. The best thing about voluntarily being made redundant is it puts you back in control of your own life.
How does voluntary redundancy work?
According to the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees who opt for voluntarily redundancy are in the same boat as those who have been forced into redundancy. It is still classed as a dismissal.
Why does this matter? Well, when applying for jobseeker’s allowance you are still eligible and won’t be penalised for leaving your job.
You are also eligible for the full statutory and contractual redundancy pay and you’re completely protected by redundancy law.
How to take voluntary redundancy
An employer has to offer you the option of voluntary redundancy; although, if collective redundancies have been announced you can put yourself forward. It’s worth bearing in mind that your employer doesn’t have to accept your request and it’s totally up to them whether or not you can be made voluntarily redundant.
Employees who have been invited to apply for voluntary redundancy should be consulted on an individual basis and advised as to how their position will be affected, how the redundancy would be implemented, the financial incentive and any other relevant information, such as notice periods. The employee should be entitled to ask questions and/or make representations. During compulsory redundancies, the consultation process is often difficult as it often affects employees who do not wish to leave; however, the consultation process in a voluntary redundancy situation is usually straightforward.
If employees are entitled to statutory redundancy pay, then this will be calculated according to their length of service (continuous employment) at the company, their age and their weekly pay. However, for voluntary redundancies, employers may offer a more generous financial incentive to encourage members of staff to leave.
Redundancy law - don't get stung!