Voluntary Severance Scheme

Principles of the targeted voluntary severance scheme

  • This targeted voluntary severance scheme will be open to all staff who work in schools or departments within the University where the outcome of the Shape and Size project may result in the need for a different staffing structure  to that which currently exists.
  • It will be an entirely voluntary scheme.  Clear instructions have been given to all Heads of School and PS Directors, through a variety of meetings and clear guidance on what can and cannot be said to staff about VS. No staff should feel any pressure to apply for VS. These messages will continue to be reiterated throughout the process. Staff will be provided with sufficient information and support to make properly informed choices.  It will be for the member of staff to decide whether or not to apply for voluntary severance.
  • This targeted voluntary severance scheme is intended as a means to support the objectives of the Size and Shape programme to minimise the potential need to make redundancies at a later point in time.
  • It is intended to make the terms financially attractive to staff to minimise the potential need to make compulsory redundancies
  • The workload of remaining staff is of paramount importance. Decisions on acceptance for targeted voluntary severance will be made with the potential impact on remaining staff being brought to the fore. All local and institution-wide workload agreements will be taken into consideration when reviewing requests for targeted voluntary severance. The departmental head (or PS equivalent) and senior manager for the School or PS Division will be required to identify how the work of the posts being lost will be covered, which may involve moving another member of staff into the role (i.e. bumping).
  • Careful consideration will be taken of the possible effects of any targeted voluntary severance exits on service delivery, modules, courses or programmes. Senior and departmental managers will be tasked with ensuring that any voluntary severances that are agreed do not leave a department or unit unviable as a consequence. Any appropriate data will be utilised to inform this process, including consultation with line managers who are more familiar with the role in question. The timing of exits will also be considered by local line managers to ensure the passing of relevant information and training of others can happen before planned departures.
  • We will take into account equality and diversity issues when implementing the scheme including the recognition  that  reasonable  adjustments  may  be  necessary  to  ensure  staff  have  access  to  all information (e.g. access to IT, implications of having to use video conferencing and online delivery on people who may have issues with that approach and who may already be under considerable pressure).
  • An equalities impact assessment process will be built into the scheme.
  • Staff will be provided with legal advice to support the signing of settlement agreements and outplacement support (support given to those wanting to find a new job after taking voluntary severance) will be made available.
  • Open and timely communications with applicants as to the progress of their application and decisions will take place during the process.
  • Any data or information concerning the process will be managed in accordance with Data Protection requirements.
  • Pension enhancements will not be included in this scheme.