Home > About Redundancy > Am I Eligible for Voluntary Redundancy?

Am I Eligible for Voluntary Redundancy?

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Redundancy Employer Voluntary

Voluntary redundancies occur when a company is facing financial difficulty or has too many staff for the job that needs doing.

Employers often prefer to offer voluntary redundancy rather than compulsory because it is better for work morale if employees feel like they are not being made to take redundancy, but are being given the option.

Voluntary redundancy can be expensive for employees though, so even though they have offered it to everyone they might still decide to pick and choose who they allow to take it.

Your answers to the below questions should give you a good idea as to whether your employer is likely to choose you for redundancy.

1) Has Your Company Offered Voluntary Redundancy?

  • A) Yes, we have been asked to put our names forward
  • B) There are to be redundancies but voluntary redundancies have yet to be mentioned
  • C) No, but I know the company is in financial difficulty

2) Are You a Long-term Employee?

  • A) Yes, I have been at the company for over ten years
  • B) I have worked there for around five years
  • C) No, I am new

3) How Old Are You?

  • A) Over sixty
  • B) Around 50
  • C) Under 40

4) How Many Redundancies Need to be Made?

  • A) Around 30 -40% of workforce
  • B) Around 10-20% of workforce
  • C) Under 10% of workforce

5) How Specialist is Your Role?

  • A) There are a number of people that do my job
  • B) A few of us do the same job
  • C) I am the only one that does my job

Your Answers

Mostly A –You Stand a Good Chance

On paper you sound like you are the ideal candidate for voluntary redundancy. If you have been with the company a long time it will cost your employer more to offer you voluntary redundancy because they will have to give you a large payout. They may however prefer to offer you voluntary redundancy if you are thinking about winding down or retiring.

Offering voluntary redundancy to those that are looking to retire boosts the morale of the other workers and makes them feel more secure about their own role. If there is more than one person who can do your job you will be less of a necessity to your employer as they can rely on one of your colleagues to fill your role.

If they are looking to offload around 30-40% of the workforce through voluntary redundancy this will increase your chances of your application being accepted.

Mostly B - You Should Apply

You sound like you could be eligible for voluntary redundancy if this is what your company has planned. Not all employers will offer voluntary redundancy, even if there are redundancies on the cards. It is not a good idea to put yourself forward for voluntary redundancy until this has been officially been requested for by your employer.

If there are a couple of you that do the same job it will depend on how many people apply for voluntary redundancy, it may be that your employer has to choose between you all.

In this instance if the company wants to show employee loyalty and create a good feeling amongst the remaining workforce they will normally opt for the older candidates and those that have been with the company the longest. If you are not planning on retiring though you should be careful if you volunteer for redundancy late in life, as your chances of finding employment elsewhere could be reduced.

Mostly C – Your Chances Are Slim

Unfortunately it sounds like you are unlikely to be offered voluntary redundancy. Your colleagues are likely to be offered voluntary redundancy before you because they will have been there longer. If you are the only one that does your job your employer is likely to want to keep you. If you are new to the company your employer will be unlikely to offer you a large payout because you have not been with the company for a long time. Larger corporate companies will not always follow these guidelines and if they are keen to shed a lot of staff they will choose those where their roles double up.

It will ultimately be your employer that decides who they are willing to offer voluntary redundancy to. If your job is one of a kind it is less likely they will want to part with your skills, unless off course they are not needed anymore. If you apply for voluntary redundancy and are unsuccessful it may lead to an uncomfortable working atmosphere as they know you want to leave.

But for many voluntary redundancy offers a get out of jail free card and a hefty lump sum, for those who can find employment elsewhere.

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[Add a Comment]
kl - Your Question:
I have worked at company A for over 7 years. I was hired by their internal agency Agency A and the agency pays me as PAYE. Now company A has lost the project and company B won the project. Company A's agency is still going to act as agency for me in the new project. The Agency A is saying the contractors will be TUPE transfered over to the new project, but my length of service will not get transferred (and will reset to 0 years when I get transferred over and will be signing new contract) over on par with permanent employees whose length of service is getting carried over. I am of the impression that because I have worked here over 7 years, my status of employment has changed to an 'Employee' wither with the Agency A or Company A, and that I ma entitles to redundancy pay and carryover my length of service into the new project won by company B. Could you please advice if I have redundancy rights and should be considered as Employee.Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
If you’re an agency worker you don’t have the right to: claim unfair dismissal if you’re sacked without notice or good cause, claim statutory redundancy pay, claim maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave, a written statement of main terms and conditions of employment. All details of your rights should be laid out in your contract to the agency. You can see more via the CAB link here. If you are still in any doubt, you may wish to give Acas a call.
RedundancyExpert - 19-Apr-18 @ 10:07 AM
I have worked at company A for over 7 years. I was hired by their internal agency Agency A and the agency pays me as PAYE. Now company A has lost the project and company B won the project. Company A's agency is still going to act as agency for me in the new project . TheAgency A is saying the contractors will be TUPE transfered over to the new project, but my length of service will not get transferred (and will reset to 0 years when I get transferred over and will be signing new contract) over on par with permanent employees whose length of service is getting carried over. I am of the impression that because I have worked here over 7 years, my status of employment has changed to an 'Employee' wither with the Agency A or Company A, and that I ma entitles to redundancy pay and carryover my length of service into the new project won by company B. Could you please advice if I have redundancy rights and should be considered as Employee. Thanks in advance.
kl - 18-Apr-18 @ 3:21 PM
Kelz - Your Question:
My work are changing services and we will be given new contracts which meaning longer hours less pay this new contract is no good to me I have been employed at my work for 12 years and have asked for voluntary redundancy but have been refused can someone advice me if they can do this to me.

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here, which should answer your question in full. You don't say whether your employer is offering redundancy as an option. If there is an option for VR and you have been refused, there is little you can do to action a redundancy situation. Your employer is under no obligation to make you redundant.
RedundancyExpert - 15-Feb-18 @ 1:50 PM
My work are changing services and we will be given new contracts which meaning longer hours less pay this new contract is no good to me I have been employed at my work for 12 years and have asked for voluntary redundancy but have been refused can someone advice me if they can do this to me .
Kelz - 14-Feb-18 @ 8:52 PM
J78 - Your Question:
The IT company I work for are intending to make roughly 15-20% of the workforce redundant and have asked for us to apply for VR if we wish. I have been at the company for 15 years and wish to use this opportunity to leave as I have been unhappy for a while. My concern is there is only one other colleague who manages the same systems as me who also is intending to apply for VR, so I assume they will not give it to us both. I don't know how much to negotiate as a result, and almost can't bear the idea of this other colleague receiving a pay out as I'm stuck there! I have been there longer but our skill set and performance are pretty similar. Help!

Our Response:
It's a tricky question to answer, as it is impossible to predict the result, or whether either of you will be offered redundancy. Your employer should use a fair and objective way of selecting you, which you can see via the link here .
RedundancyExpert - 13-Feb-18 @ 2:52 PM
The IT company I work forare intending to make roughly 15-20% of the workforce redundant and have asked for us to apply for VR if we wish. I have been at the company for 15 years and wish to use this opportunity to leave as I have been unhappy for a while. My concern is there is only one other colleague who manages the same systems as me who also is intending to apply for VR, so I assume they will not give it to us both. I don't know how much to negotiate as a result, and almost can't bear the idea of this other colleague receiving a pay out as I'm stuck there! I have been there longer but our skill set and performance are pretty similar. Help!
J78 - 9-Feb-18 @ 6:57 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi, the company I work for are currently going through a restructure. My job role will no longer exist from 31/03/2018 but I had the opportunity to apply for an alternative role which would have been a step up. I decided not to apply for the role as although it would mean a pay rise, it was a completely different role that would require a lot more travel. Staff had the option to apply for voluntary redundancy but were told this would be considered on a case by case basis. I applied for voluntary redundancy and was told I would need to attend an interview to discuss this, now I'm worried about what to say in the interview in case they use it to refuse my request. I've worked for the company for just over 9 years, my colleagues have applied for the new job roles so I know the company have enough applicants to cover the new roles. I'm worried that they will refuse my request and tell me that I intentionally made myself unemployed as I didn't apply for the alternative role. Can this happen and is there anything I should avoid saying in this interview?

Our Response:
Only if you are offered a job, you say the new job is not suitable and your employer disagrees, can your employer possibly refuse to pay your redundancy payment, please see link here . As it is, you have not been offered the new job, you were only encouraged to apply for it. The CAB link here will also give you more information on the process. We cannot advise you what to say in the interview. However, it sounds as though your company is going through the correct procedure to date, so you are unlikely to face an unfair dismissal issue.
RedundancyExpert - 25-Jan-18 @ 1:58 PM
Hi, the company I work for are currently going through a restructure. My job role will no longer exist from 31/03/2018 but I had the opportunity to apply for an alternative role which would have been a step up.I decided not to apply for the role as although it would mean a pay rise, it was a completely different role that would require a lot more travel. Staff had the option to apply for voluntary redundancy but were told this would be considered on a case by case basis.I applied for voluntary redundancy and was told I would need to attend an interview to discuss this, now I'm worried about what to say in the interview in case they use it to refuse my request.I've worked for the company for just over 9 years, my colleagues have applied for the new job roles so I know the company have enough applicants to cover the new roles. I'm worried that they will refuse my request and tell me that I intentionally made myself unemployed as I didn't apply for the alternative role.Can this happen and is there anything I should avoid saying in this interview?
Sam - 24-Jan-18 @ 8:59 PM
Nine of us do the same role & we were advised a week before consultation began that we would be at risk & the company would listen to voluntary if anybody was interested. I advised my line manager on several occasions that I wished to pursue this, however would have to wait until consultation officially began. The day before consultation began, I was advised that another colleague (the oldest & longest serving) had accepted VR so I along with the others were no longer at risk. Is this fair? Should we all have been allowed the same opportunity seeing this was arranged outside consultation period & I made it clear I was interested?
nexusxicon - 23-Jan-18 @ 5:47 AM
Blossom- Your Question:
I am off work sick have been offered voluntary redundancy and want it will I get it

Our Response:
Your employer will select the people to be made redundant from everyone who volunteered. It’s up to your employer if they select you for redundancy. Just because you volunteered to be made redundant doesn’t mean you will be, please see CAB link here.
RedundancyExpert - 9-Oct-17 @ 12:09 PM
I am off work sick have been offered voluntary redundancy and want it will I get it
Blossom - 8-Oct-17 @ 2:47 PM
I have worked for local government for 14 years, in April I had surgery on my hand that I am still recovering from.Whilst I have been off, there has been a consultation period due to changes in hours/contracts.I have not been part of this and was not aware of it until a passing comment by a colleague.Reduced wages have already started and they say I cannot apply for the voluntary redundancy package as the date has gone, how could I apply when I didn't know?I haven't received a new contract or a new job description.Can I still apply for the redundancy due to not been consulted or offered it when everyone else was?
Sharon - 25-Aug-17 @ 5:33 PM
I work for a nhs services in maintanance and our managment is having a reshuffle and part of this is that the technicians posts we have are being increased from 2 post to 4 postand the 2 technicians inplace have got to reapply for there jobs. At the moment they are band 5+rrp but the new positions are just a band 5 can they make staff reapply for there job if thedescription are the same as they are not making people redundent but our increasing the number of posts? Can somebody please help
Clive - 7-Aug-17 @ 11:45 AM
@Dave - Even all those who have applied for VR might not be accepted. It's a tricky one as you could ask, but you may be refused and then your employer will know you have considered wanting to leave the company. If you're ok with your employer wanting to know that - then go for it.
GrahamR - 18-May-17 @ 10:30 AM
Hi my company has offered VR however i was excluded from this as i received an above standard rating for the previous performance year. Those who were offered the VR have received there quotes. Is it possible to put myself inscope for VR even though i was considered as out of scope?
Dave - 17-May-17 @ 9:45 AM
@Chrissie - you can only apply for redundancy a) if it's offered and b) if your job no longer exists. As your job stll exists, you can either accept or reject the new terms. Plus, only employees have redundancy rights. Non-employees, such as contractors and agency staff don't.
Rich - 2-May-17 @ 10:53 AM
I work in the voluntary sector and the projects are funded usually from local government. Each contract is approx 2 yrs and the current one ends this month. The new contract that the organisation bid for has some significant changes, namely weekend working hours etc - they want us to work on a rota system to be on call at weekends, ( at home with a phone to respond to call out) without an increase in salary and lieu time would only be given if a call out was requested. Am I in a position to request redundancy as the role has changed quite significantly from the previous contract?
Chrisssie - 1-May-17 @ 1:38 PM
Htanna - Your Question:
The company I work for was offering VR in October 2016 and although I asked for a VR quote I was not in a position to accept it.Now the closing date for submission has passed, I've typically just received a job offer.Even though all of my colleagues who took the most recent VR haven't left yet, is there nothing I can do?

Our Response:
I'm afraid there is nothing you can do with regards to this - it's purely a case of bad timing.
RedundancyExpert - 3-Apr-17 @ 12:51 PM
The company I work for was offering VR in October 2016 and although I asked for a VR quote I was notin a position to accept it. Now the closing date for submission has passed, I've typically just received a job offer. Even though all of my colleagues who took the most recent VR haven'tleft yet, is there nothing I can do?
Htanna - 2-Apr-17 @ 3:57 PM
chrissie48 - Your Question:
I am 67 years, work for local government and took flexible retirement 18 months ago. I still work 3 days per week and claim my pension. Due to funding problems, staff have now been asked for volunteers for voluntary redundancy. Can I legally apply?

Our Response:
If you have been asked to apply, then yes. However, the terms of your redundancy will be affected by your reduction in hours and whether a new contract was drawn up or not. If you have been asked to apply, you may wish to question what terms you would qualify for.
RedundancyExpert - 15-Mar-17 @ 11:41 AM
I am 67 years, work for local government and took flexible retirement 18 months ago. I still work 3 days per week and claim my pension. Due to funding problems, staff have now been asked for volunteers for voluntary redundancy. Can I legally apply?
chrissie48 - 14-Mar-17 @ 2:25 PM
hi wondering if I can get some advice. I have been employed for over 5 years with my last working day being 17.01.17 due to lack of contracts within our industry. Although nothing is stated on my statement of main terms of employment, my employer has informed me I am on a '0 hour' contract. I am entitled to 28 holidays including bank holidays per annum and no holidays will be granted whilst no work is on the horizon? I get paid on a weekly basis, three weeks in arrears and have noticed since my last paid week no national insurance contributions have been paid? with this in mind and an email being sent out by my area manager seeking 'to encourage you to find secondary employment until such time we have a work placement for you'. Currently contemplating voluntary redundancy? would this be the best option for myself?
johncobra - 28-Feb-17 @ 10:40 PM
My company is under goinga resturcture and we had a meeting on the 16th January andwe were told thatVR would be taken on the 3rd of Febuary i feel that this was such a short time period i could not make such a life changing decision in such a short time frame so on the 6th Feburary told them i was staying 15 days on i feel that i made the wrong choice are there any grounds in which i can now take VR.
Dawn - 19-Feb-17 @ 9:41 PM
Hi, last year I applied for VR and was told my request was denied. Today, compulsory redundancies were announced, Yet again I was overlooked/not chosen, however, some people who had VR denied last year were approached and got given VR this time around as well as those who got told they were getting compulsary redundancy. Is there anything I can do to object to the way I have been overlooked again.
Neets - 8-Feb-17 @ 5:13 PM
Viv - Your Question:
Hi I have worked for the council for over 20 years and in April last year they announced they were making changes within the structure of the council and making redundancies! I am in my sixties and did not want to work in the New structure and therefore put myself forward for voluntary redundancy along with many others! In Sept 24 people out of 30 got their voluntary redundancy but I did not! I have been off sick since with work related stress as I do not feel I can do the new role and I feel like I have been discriminated against in the fact that I did not get my redundancy because of my age as they knew I would be retiring soon and would most probably leave with all the changes! Is there a certain criteria they should have adhered too or can they pick and choose as they like! Is it worth putting a grievance in against them?

Our Response:
If you feel you have been unfairly treated then you would have to prove that age discrimination was taking place. If cost-cutting is the reason for redundancy, then your employer may be able to justify their reasons within that specific remit. You would really have to go back through the consultancy period to see if there is anywhere the council has been less than transparent. However, I suspect there will be clauses in your consultation paperwork that adequately justify the reasons why you were refused. If you are still in doubt - ACAS or your union will help you here.
RedundancyExpert - 31-Jan-17 @ 2:36 PM
Hi I have worked for the council for over 20 years and in April last year they announced they were making changes within the structure of the council and making redundancies! I am in my sixties and did not want to work in the New structure and therefore put myself forward for voluntary redundancy along with many others! In Sept 24 people out of 30 got their voluntary redundancy but I did not! I have been off sick since with work related stress as I do not feel I can do the new role and I feel like I have been discriminated against in the fact that I did not get my redundancy because of my age as they knew I would be retiring soon and would most probably leave with all the changes! Is there a certain criteria they should have adhered too or can they pick and choose as they like! Is it worth putting a grievance in against them?
Viv - 31-Jan-17 @ 9:41 AM
I have been offered voluntary redundancy including 12 weeks pay in lieu of notice. I work for the local authority. How soon can I apply for employment doing a different role within the local authority or other local authorities. Do I have to wait until after the 12 weeks are up.
Angi12350 - 16-Jan-17 @ 7:34 PM
Hi, I have worked for my current company for 3/4 years as a project manager, the company have rebranded and the line of work I do is no longer advertised. I'm currently sat with no project to manage, the companies I did work for have gone elsewhere and I'm losing the will to live... what's the odds of me getting redundancy? They may have driving positions but it's not a job I have done before and I have 15 points on my license so it's not a wise move..
Jamie - 9-Jan-17 @ 4:10 PM
@Dormouse - yes, if that is the company's new policy they can make these changes. M.
MThomas - 4-Jan-17 @ 10:52 AM
My work has said that they will no longer offer voluntary redundancy anymore and it will be a last in first out policy can they do this??
Dormouse - 3-Jan-17 @ 10:37 AM
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