What is voluntary redunancy?

21 January 2022 Employment Law Jane McNicol

The recent news that hundreds of jobs are to be shed as OVO undertakes a massive restructuring programme will come as a major disappointment to many employees working at the Perth energy company.

SSE and OVO are one of Perth's largest employers, and the restructure will see OVO (who bought the SSE retail division two years ago) close its office at Grampian House on Dunkeld Road.

If you are an OVO employee in Perth and are concerned about a voluntary redundancy offer, the below information may answer some questions that you have. Our team are available to discuss your situation with you, and you can get in contact with us for advice on your specific circumstances.


What is voluntary redundancy?

Voluntary redundancy occurs where your employer asks you to agree to terminate your contract of employment in return for a financial sum. Generally, voluntary redundancy is offered to long-term and senior employees, but other employees can also put themselves forward for voluntary redundancy.

Do I have to accept an offer of voluntary redundancy?

No, as suggested by the name, you do not have to accept an offer of voluntary redundancy. You may negotiate the terms or refuse altogether. However, it is essential to keep in mind that voluntary redundancy packages are often more substantial than standard redundancy packages.

Are my employment law rights affected by voluntary redundancy?

No, if you choose to put yourself forward for voluntary redundancy, or accept an offer of voluntary redundancy, you have the same rights as those selected for compulsory redundancy.

Under the law, voluntary redundancy is still classed as dismissal. Employers must go through the same process as for any other redundancy. Your employer should:

  • Consult with employees individually and inform them of their rights
  • Include advice and information on how the redundancy will be implemented including any notice period, the financial compensation on offer and any other information which may be relevant
  • Answer any questions you may have

If your employer fails to provide an opportunity for consultation, your redundancy could amount to unfair dismissal.

If you are an OVO or SSE employee in Perth and you have been affected by voluntary redundancy, get in contact with our team today.

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