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Voluntary measures information updated

28 May 2020

Extra information added on notice periods, VS payments, returning from career breaks and more

We have updated our voluntary measures Staffnet site, to provide additional information on some points and answer questions from colleagues.

If my voluntary severance (VS) application is successful, will I be required to work my notice period? If not, what happens to my pay in lieu of notice and will it be taxed?

The intention is that successful VS applicants will leave on or before 31 July 2020. Therefore you may only be able to work part of your notice period, or none at all, depending on when you submit your application for VS and when you sign the settlement agreement.

If you are able to work only some or none of your notice, you will be paid any outstanding notice as Pay in Lieu of Notice (PILON). PILON is the amount of your contractual notice period which you do not work, between the date the settlement agreement is issued and your last day of employment.

As in previous VS schemes, PILON and statutory redundancy pay are included in the VS terms and will be part of the payment you receive – they are not additional. Since VS payments are subject to HMRC rules, all PILON included in the payment will be taxed as it would have been if you had worked your notice period.

Are voluntary severance payments based on my reduced salary if I take up one of the voluntary measures, or my full salary?

As the voluntary measures are temporary, any voluntary severance payments would be based on your basic salary as it was prior to taking any voluntary measure. If however you choose to make permanent arrangements to your contract, for example permanently reducing your hours, any payment will be based on your permanent lower salary after the change.

Is there a minimum qualifying period for VS?

No, there is no minimum length of service requirement to apply for VS.

Are VS decisions being made on a first come first served basis?

Applications are not being made on a ‘first come first served’ basis, but they will be considered at regular intervals during the window that the measures are open. In some cases, decisions may be influenced by voluntary arrangements within the same team or area which have already been agreed, if it is felt there is an operational impact.

Can I apply for more than one voluntary measure?

Yes – please identify a preference and discuss this with your line manager prior to submitting your application(s). Please indicate on all the application forms you complete if you’re also applying for other options and which ones these are.

Are certain roles in areas most impacted by the current situation (e.g. PGT) at a higher risk of redundancy later on?

We won’t know the full impact of student numbers on our financial position until October 2020. We simply don’t know at this moment in time which roles might be at risk of redundancy and what areas or teams might be affected.

Would any future compulsory redundancy payment include my notice period or would I be expected to complete it?

Statutory redundancy payments are not inclusive of notice pay. In a compulsory redundancy situation, colleagues would either work their notice period or be paid in lieu. 

If I apply for a career break and am successful, would I be able to return early if circumstances changed?

When you agree the length of your career break with your line manager you are committed to taking the full period. You can request to return early (giving at least one month’s notice) – this will be accommodated if operationally possible, but there is no obligation on your line manager or the University to agree to this.