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
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.
Hi, I’ve worked as a TA for over 20 years in my current job and I’ve just turned 70.
As the school is restructuringstaff, about 30% have been offered voluntary redundancy or re- application for a different post .
I think it’s obvious I should apply for voluntary redundancy, but they are asking for a good reason.
Earlier this year, I was negatively and unfairly criticised (after never having a problem in 20years) should I mention this or can you please help me with a suitable reason. Thanks
Mezcal - 31-May-21 @ 9:17 AM
Hello, I am employed by a large company. The role I am employed to do no longer exists and hasn’t done since June 2020. However I’ve temporarily been given a different role. I want to leave the company. Am I entitled to redundancy? The company are having a headcount reduction but voluntary redundancy hasn’t been offered to anyone. I know my boss wants me to stay and make the temporary role I’m doing permanent but I want to leave. Any advice would be welcomed.
TAndo - 2-May-21 @ 8:51 PM
Can someone please help with my query raised I have added again as no comments added by professional.
have been furloughed since the 6th April and I have not been asked to work at all, the whole time I have been off.I am on 80 % pay.worked for the company for over 30 years and I don't want to go back to either working from home or going back to the office. I would rather be made redundant, do I have any rights to make this happen, as I have been working there too long to just walk away with nothing. I do not feel that I could cope anymore with the pressure, if I was asked to return to work, and I been finding life challenging since covid hit and to add to this,on the day I was furloughed a family member who lived with me and my housemate died . Can you please let me know if redundancy is possible or not. Kind regards Elaine
E - 13-Feb-21 @ 12:04 AM
E - 26-Feb-21 @ 4:42 PM
I have been furloughed since the 6th April and I have not been asked to work at all, the whole time I have been off.I am on 80 % pay.worked for the company for over 30 years and I don't want to go back to either working from home or going back to the office. I would rather be made redundant, do I have any rights to make this happen, as I have been working there too long to just walk away with nothing.
I do not feel that I could cope anymore with the pressure, if I was asked to return to work, and I been finding life challenging since covid hit and to add to this,on the day I was furloughed a family member who lived with me and my housemate died .
Can you please let me know if redundancy is possible or not.
E - 13-Feb-21 @ 12:04 AM
I am in the exact same situation .... what was the outcome?Many thanks
LB - 1-Feb-21 @ 7:13 PM
My employer has offered voluntary redundancy. I've asked for it and it has been denied as "my skills and talent are important for the business".
However, my role is being made redundant, and they want me to move into a different role that I don't want.
Do I have any option to force them to let me go in these circumstances? (by no accepting the move, for example)
JG - 8-Dec-20 @ 10:49 AM
I am currently on furlough (working two half-days per week) from my full-time position.My employer has had a meeting with me and informed me that after furlough ends I will be staying on the two half-days as my normal hours for at least the next few months.I have indicated that these are not enough hours for me to pay my bills and was told that Voluntary Redundancy was available.I have worked for the company for the last 6 years full-time.What is the process for me to request Voluntary Redundancy and what is the minimum payment I would receive?
Angelsshare - 22-Oct-20 @ 10:59 AM
I work for an FE college in Glasgow. People interested in voluntary severance were asked to apply which I did. I’m 67 years old and a Senior Lecturer and presently on a phased retirement scheme but didn’t say when I would retire. I have been refused voluntary severance with no explanation as to why. I currently work only 3 days a week. Can my employer legally refuse my application after asking for volunteers?
Davie - 7-Mar-20 @ 12:55 AM
I am a Local Government employee.My employer has declared it's intent to make a work colleague compulsory redundant - she is devastated.She is disliked intently by the manager who a few months ago actually told the team that "one way or another, she had to go" - so the compulsory redundancy notice is of no surprise. Incidentally, her role is not being made redundant - it's being shared out amongst her(subordinate) staff. I carry out broadly the same role as my colleague (heading up a second team) and on the same grade.I have requested a 'bumped (voluntary) redundancy' whereby I would take the redundancy and my colleague would take my post.I was asked by my employer to provide evidence that in terms of knowledge, skills and experience, my colleague and I are a direct match.Our employer has accepted we are a KSE match (there are no other colleagues who are a match) but has subsequently declined the request for a bumped redundancy on the basis that I "...have a certain something that goes beyond KSE that they can't do without".Clearly, allowing the requested bumped redundancy would not provide the desired effect (i.e. to get rid of the employee that is disliked so intently by the manager). Incidentally, there's no capability issue it's just a clash of personality.My query is can the employer decline a VR request from Employee 2 simply in order to get rid of employee 2 via a compulsory redundancy?
VR query - 7-May-19 @ 1:48 PM
about 8 months ago all in my department were put "at risk" and we went through selection processes with some people being made redundant. I survived that exercise but now it looks like the same thing is going to happen again. Is there a time limit that says you cannot be put at risk again inside say, 12 months? Is there any law I should be aware of that controls how many times the company can review the need for a particular role?
toffee - 24-Apr-19 @ 8:10 AM
My work place is currently going through staff restructure and voluntary redundancies were an option. My request for VR was rejected as my pension costs could not be met. I am now being forced into an interview for a job I no longer want against people who do want a job knowing that one of us will still be made redundant. If I score the lowest the head will have no choice but to make me redundant with full pension. If I dont score the lowest someone else will be made redundant. My question is, am I legally bound to attend the interview and where would I stand if I didn't? Would he then have to make me redundant anyway or is it a sackable offence?
Jane - 13-Apr-19 @ 1:35 PM
I have worked for Bt for 31 years and they were offering voluntary redundancies which I applied for but was rejected as they said I had a unique set of skills. They are now saying that I have to reapply for my job but with no company car and I will have to work in an office 45 miles away (I am currently a home worker).Are they obliged to give me a redundancy package?
Steve - 13-Apr-19 @ 12:53 PM
Hi, Very informative website, I have been offered Voluntary Redundancy aged 59 with18 years in the same job also offered as part of my redundancy reduced hours from 5 days to 3 days per week keeping same pension rights and my job but only 3 days per week which leaves me short of £200 per week on my salary.
I have also the option taking early flexible retirement keep my 3 day job take some of my pension but forgo the redundancy payment for the loss if the 2 days. Any advice you could give would be appreciated. Thanks
FUS289 - 25-Mar-19 @ 11:51 PM
My workplace asked for people to volunteer for redundancy but said it would select people based on job roles, not salary. My department was told that we were excluded from being allowed to apply for VR. However one member of the team applied anyway and was accepted. The deadline for applying for VR has now passed but I feel that we have been lied to since someone in our team did get it. My boss has told me that I would be rejected if I applied but do I have any rights in this situation? I have a lot of years service so taking VR would work out ok for me financially.
Carole - 3-Feb-19 @ 11:37 PM
Hi My company were looking for volunteers for voluntary redundancy as a cost saving exercise. I applied for redundancy but was refused due to being "too important to the business " as I am a loyal and high performing employee. Other managers who applied were accepted! Do I have a case to appeal as my reason for refusal was they didn't want to loose me? So do I now resign or appeal?
Benny - 13-Nov-18 @ 7:34 PM
Recently, the company I work for announced that they will be restructuring the marketing team and that all of us should re apply for jobs in the new structure. There didn't ask for voluntary redundancy, they only said there are 3 less jobs in the new team. In the new structure, there is no similar title to the one I have (only higher or lower) and also my specialisation in my current role has been removed in the new structure. ultimately, if i apply for a role I will be doing a different job (will not be specialised to what I am doing currently) and will lose my title and my direct report. Also, there is a manager who was in the similar position as myself and he asked for redundancy and got it. I have also asked for redundancy but they have refused because they say that my job description has many similarities to the new job descriptions and that taking away my direct report and managerial responsibility is not a significant change which I believe is. In addition, my job description is very specific to what I do today but the new job description is very vague and not focused in one area/specific focus. Can you please advise what to do? I do not want to be demoted by applying to a job that is a level under and also not to work on projects that are not my specialisation. I am thinking to get a solicitor and I am also writing them a letter to explain again the reasons I put myself forward for redundancy. Thank you so much.
SeekingAdvice - 12-Nov-18 @ 11:37 AM
2 months ago my company asked for voluntary redundancies.i offered but was refused.im 64.about to go part time 3 dayscould they make me redundant and only pay pro rata redundancyNO
Lurch - 18-Jul-18 @ 6:49 PM
Bingo - Your Question:
I am a senior manager in a UK business, successfully leading a team of 60 for the past 4 years. My manager is trying to fundamentally change my role, removing responsibilities, and assigning me duties that I don't want to do (i.e. I wouldn't have applied for a job doing these duties). He is saying that team morale is low although when asked to substantiate his comments he can't/won't. Other managers have also been assigned into my team, at the same grade as me, taking the management team from 1 (me) to 5. I am confident that there is no need for 5 of us at the same grade. I have 19 years service; can I request voluntary redundancy, or is this more akin to constructive dismissal?
In the first instance, you may wish to question your manager's motivations either informally or through a grievance procedure if you feel you are being undermined, please see link here . You cannot ask for voluntary redundancy if your job still exists and no suggestion of voluntary redundancy has previously been made.
RedundancyExpert - 15-Jun-18 @ 12:14 PM
I am a senior manager in a UK business, successfully leading a team of 60 for the past 4 years.My manager is trying to fundamentally change my role, removing responsibilities, and assigning me duties that i don't want to do (i.e. i wouldn't have applied for a job doing these duties).He is saying that team morale is low although when asked to substantiate his comments he can't/won't.Other managers have also been assigned into my team, at the same grade as me, taking the management team from 1 (me) to 5.i am confident that there is no need for 5 of us at the same grade.I have 19 years service; can i request voluntary redundancy, or is this more akin to constructive dismissal?
Bingo - 12-Jun-18 @ 9:17 AM
@KS - you'd have to be able to prove it!
PETE - 4-Jun-18 @ 3:32 PM
Following an appeal for volunteers I have expressed interest but been refused voluntary severance. I believe this is because of my gender (female) being in a minority with the skill set I have. I am also senior and long service so would be expensive to lay off under the enhanced scheme the company offers. Is this discrimination?
KS - 1-Jun-18 @ 3:00 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!
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?
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
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
@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?