Voluntary redundancy


You may be thinking about taking voluntary redundancy at your school. Redundancies and school restructures will follow a process outlined in your school’s policies and staff handbook.

Check the information in your school policy and the terms and conditions attached.

In this article, we outline what voluntary redundancy is, how to make sure it is the right choice for you and different aspects to consider.

What is voluntary redundancy?

ACAS explains that when your employer is planning to make redundancies, you can choose to put yourself forward for redundancy before being selected (‘voluntary redundancy’). This can be done by either:

  • Your employer asking for volunteers
  • You volunteering to be made redundant

To volunteers for redundancy, you can ask your school. It’s a good idea to put it in writing. You should follow your employer’s policy or procedure for voluntary redundancy, if they have one.

Your school does not have to agree to make you redundant as they will be considering the needs of the school as a whole. For example, if you’re highly skilled and experienced in your role, they may need to keep you on.

Your school does not have to offer voluntary redundancy to everyone. But if you feel they stopped you volunteering because of your sex, age, disability or another ‘protected characteristic’, it could be discrimination.

We’ve written more about the topic of protected characteristics in our support article about the Equality Act.

Making sure the choice is right for you

Citizens Advice explains you should think carefully about whether voluntary redundancy is right for you, including whether you’ll get any redundancy pay and how it will affect things like claiming benefits (if applicable) or your mortgage if you have one.

Check the redundancy offer

Ask your school what the redundancy package will be. Sometimes employers offer incentives for taking voluntary redundancy, like extra redundancy pay or not having to work your notice period. You will also still get any other redundancy rights you’re entitled to, like time off to look for a new job. 

We have published another support article which outlines your employment rights during redundancy.

Once you volunteer to be made redundant

Your school will select the people to be made redundant from everyone who volunteered. If you’re selected for redundancy, it’s important you get a letter from your employer confirming you’ve been made redundant. You will need to show this letter to an employment tribunal later if there are any problems (for example, your employer doesn’t pay your redundancy pay).

We’ve written another support article about employment tribunals here.

You will still get any redundancy rights you’re entitled to, like time off to look for a new job. You might also be able to negotiate your notice period with your employer.

If you are an Edapt subscriber and are thinking about taking voluntary redundancy you can contact us for further advice and support.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.