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Voluntary Redundancy Clause

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  • Voluntary Redundancy Clause

    Hi,

    My employer recently restructured and as part of that they offered up voluntary redundancy which would be about £40k so I opted in for VR.

    This was several weeks ago and today I received my redundancy agreement which has a clause which states that as at the date of the agreement (today) I basically cannot have a job offer or be in discussions likely to lead to a job offer.

    This very important piece of information was never communicated at any stage of the process and clearly anyone who has accepted their job will be ending will want to know they can secure further employment. So as a result I applied for and am now in receipt of a job offer (unsigned) which is due to start after the end of my notice period.

    Now worried that this will affect my settlement agreement (which is non-negotiable) and I will end up on statuory redundancy which is only £10k.

    One option would be to ignore the clause and assume it all goes through fine but clearly that's not a good plan.
    Another would be to challenge the clause on the basis that this information should have been communicated but that's tipping our hand.

    I am awaiting a call back from a solicitor as that's another condition of the agreement, that we receive legal advice.

    But in the meantime...

    - Is this clause normal?
    - Is it unreasonable?
    - Should I ignore it and hope for the best?
    - Should I challenge it?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi in answer to your questions:

    1. It is certainly not a clause I have seen before in a VR package.
    2. Even though you are taking VR you still have the same statutory redundancy rights as if you were in a compulsory redundancy situation, such as reasonable time off to look for a new job and these do not preclude getting a job offer before you are made redundant.
    3. I presume you are being given a settlement agreement and yes for this you are required to take independent legal advice. I would suggest that you discuss this with them as I think your points 3 & 4 go together i.e. to not ignore it and my view (although I am not an employment lawyer) would be that this could be challenged.¬*
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



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    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, we will certainly be seeing what the solicitor says, just wondered what other peopleís opinion was on this.

      For clarity the clause states that as of the date of the settlement agreement...

      ď...at the date of this Agreement you have not commenced employment¬*nor are you in discussions which are likely to lead to nor have you agreed to accept nor received any offer of employment notwithstanding that you have taken all reasonable steps to obtain such employment.Ē

      Which seems manifestly unfair to everyone I have told about it and doubly so given that no mention was made of this at any other point.

      Iím concerned though that it states Ďnon-negotiableí so if I challenge they will just say no and Iíll end up losing tens of thousands!

      Comment


      • #4
        As previously stated someone taking VR has the same statutory rights as compulsory redundancy which gives you time off to look for a new job and could conceivably lead to an offer before made and accepted before the redundancy effective date. An individual would negotiate a start date with the new employer after the redundancy date.

        So in my opinion this is a clause that needs to be clarified with the solicitor/employment adviser that signs to confirm they have provided you with independent legal advice on the settlement agreement. Part of their role will not only be to review the content but where they believe there are unfavourable terms, of which this may be considered by them as one, they will negotiate with your employer on your behalf.¬*
        ¬*
        I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
        If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


        You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

        You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks again,

          I think the issue though is that they mention about the rights to time off to look for work etc but this is AFTER the date of the settlement agreement.

          So so far as I can tell nothing precludes me, indeed they will assist me, in getting a job during my notice period (to start after the end of the notice) BUT at the time of the agreement you canít have a job lined up or be in discussions likely to lead to one.

          as I say though this was never mentioned before so obviously the first thing I did knowing I would be leaving work (and with everything going on and the possibility of my OH losing their job) is went to try get a new one.

          It states very strongly that the contract is non- negotiable so not sure what would happen if the solicitor challenged it? Would I have to find the money to pay a solicitor to fight it in court? And if I lose Iím stuffed?!

          Comment


          • #6
            In the agreement are you being asked to give up your right to pursue any employment claims and it gives a list of what you cannot claim for?

            Is the agreement headed up Settlement Agreement?¬*

            Have they agreed to a contribution towards the cost of the solicitor?
            I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
            If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


            You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

            You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



            If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi,

              Yep, exactly that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Great thanks for the confirmation.

                A SA is not a done deal until your legal adviser and you have signed it. The reason why you have a qualified person to review the agreement is to ensure that you are getting a fair deal, in terms of compensation, etc. for the employment rights to make a claim you are giving up by signing it and for example any benefits you get are being dealt with correctly etc.

                If this is not the case then your legal adviser has the responsibility and duty of care to you to go back and negotiate, so for the SA to indicate that the document is non-negotiable would be contrary to that principle in my opinion.¬*
                I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
                If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


                You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

                You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



                If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                Comment

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