Good afternoon everyone,
I wanted to provide you with a further update on where we are now that the window for voluntary severance applications has closed.
In total we received 120 applications which equates to about 105 full time equivalents. You may recall that in my previous email I outlined that we needed to lose about 105 full time equivalent posts so we are as close as we can be in terms of total numbers. Not all applications coincide with where we need to lose posts and at this stage it is not clear how many applications will result in a member of staff leaving, but if all or most did leave then I am confident we would be able to resolve some of the pools of staff without any further action. We are also working hard to see how we might 'balance' pools where there are too many applications with those where there are not enough in order to mitigate compulsory redundancies. I will ensure that staff are kept fully informed as soon as possible as I realise how important it is.
For staff that have applied for voluntary severance and the application has been approved
You will be receiving a letter along with a draft settlement agreement to confirm that your application has been agreed, without prejudice and subject to contract. The letter and agreement will be sent by post to your home address and there will be clear instructions as to how to progress your application through to conclusion. This must be by no later than 5pm on 4 September so that we can be absolutely clear how many surplus staff we have prior to making final decisions on any compulsory redundancies. On a case by case basis I will reserve the right to extend this deadline for a member of staff who is out of the area for this period. I must inform you that if you decide to withdraw your application it is likely that you will be placed in a pool of staff at risk of compulsory redundancy.
Although the number of applications for voluntary severance is high, I have to confirm that it is unlikely that we will be able to avoid compulsory redundancies altogether in some pools and therefore have written to the National Joint Secretaries in line with the NNC Management of Change Protocol to inform them of this position. At our last consultation meeting locally I also made our local trade unions aware of this position as well as informing them that we have now introduced our revised redundancy policy which is available on NORIS under HR / Policies and Procedures. For pools where we are not reliant on the outcome of the voluntary severance scheme, we will progress towards compulsory redundancy selection as soon as is reasonably possible using the selection criteria outlined in my previous email. Following the deadline of 4 September we will then look to apply the same selection criteria in order to manage any final selection process required. Where compulsory redundancies are necessary we intend to issue notices of compulsory redundancy by no later than 30 September. An up to date restructure timeline is available on NORIS for information.
Where it is now possible to confirm that staff are being 'slotted in' to their post, you will be receiving a letter outlining this as soon as possible.
For any staff leaving the company there will be a full outplacement service made available. Some details of this have already been placed on NORIS but full details will be made available to all those where appropriate.
In the meantime we continue to consult with our trade union representatives.
Finally, I do realise that we are in a very difficult phase of our company restructuring and want to ensure that you are provided with as much support as possible. In addition to our employee assistance programme can I suggest that if you feel there is anything we can do then please make contact with HR in the first instance.