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I work as an artworker/designer for a printing company. The economic climate has had bad affect on us and consequently they are closing the design department which means Im probably off. After an initial set of meetings today, the director concerned indicated that should I apply for redundancy then it would be considered. However, the job I have is no longer in the new set up so theoretically they have made me redundant. although to tie in with the "TUPE" effect new jobs are available (im not qualified for any of them).

I have been told to avoid voluntary redundancy as it has consequences on insurance policies but as I dont have any that would be affected then that does not affect me. But are there any benefits that I could lose because of it being voluntary against an "agreement" as such with letting me go? I believe this is called gardening leave. Im not sure about this as I want to be able to find another job as soon as possible but having been there for 14 years the gardening leave is actually 3 months.

Would i be better off in this instance going for voluntary redundancy or continue for the agreement as they suggest? (what is in it for them that it is not voluntary?)

Anyone had this sort of experience, your help would be very much appreciated?

Thanks
 

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Sorry to hear about this Martin.

The company I work for has been through a couple of rounds of redundancies over the last 18 months or so. I have been 'at risk' of redundancy, but haven't been overly bothered or worried about it - waiting to see what happened, but have touched on some of the issues.

A few of my colleagues have lost their jobs and one of their concerns was the issue of 'voluntary redundancy' and what the impact of the employee choosing to leave their job could have on any unemployment benefit / job-seekers allowance. I never got any answers for them or any feedback from any of the guys, but I still presume that anyone choosing to put themselves out of a job would not do as well from the benefits system as someone who was made redundant by their employer. It would be worth your while to get down the local Citizens Advice Bureau and ask them for a bit of information.

It seems to me that your position is being made redundant (jobs are made redundant, not people) and you may be entitled to redundancy payment.

- it varies according to your terms and conditions of contract, but you may be entitled to one week's notice for every year of employment and one week's wages for every year employed (up to a maximum of 12 in both instances) so that's up to 12 weeks notice of termination of employment and 12 weeks wages as a redundancy payment. The term 'gardening leave' refers to the notice period - if your employer gives you notice of termination of employment today and you are entitled to a 12 week notice period, you can either work this notice period or, with the consent of your employer, not work the notice period (this is my understanding of 'gardening leave') until you are no longer employed.

I'm not sure if the above makes sense to you as I can be a bit cack-handed at explanations.

Hope it helps rather than confuses you.

All the best,

Gary.
 

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if your employer gives you notice of termination of employment today and you are entitled to a 12 week notice period, you can either work this notice period or, with the consent of your employer, not work the notice period (this is my understanding of 'gardening leave') until you are no longer employed.
I'm no expert, but I think:

"Gardening leave" is the notice period during which you are still employed but not actually working, if they want you to continue working for the notice period then you would not do "gardening leave". The 12 weeks redundancy is in addition to the notice period, you can start working for someone else as soon as the notice period is over.

Normally you would be offered a larger payment for voluntary since they could get rid of you without actually removing the job and could bring the job back without risk of you claiming it back, if they are not prepared to offer more then the only advantage to you is that you can leave now instead of waiting until they have to make you redundant with the risk that they will have gone bankrupt and be unable to pay - you avoid the uncertanty which is often well worth while!

Hope it goes well, and dont try and hang on to the past for no good reason!
 

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I work as an artworker/designer for a printing company. The economic climate has had bad affect on us and consequently they are closing the design department which means Im probably off. After an initial set of meetings today, the director concerned indicated that should I apply for redundancy then it would be considered. However, the job I have is no longer in the new set up so theoretically they have made me redundant. although to tie in with the "TUPE" effect new jobs are available (im not qualified for any of them).

I have been told to avoid voluntary redundancy as it has consequences on insurance policies but as I dont have any that would be affected then that does not affect me. But are there any benefits that I could lose because of it being voluntary against an "agreement" as such with letting me go? I believe this is called gardening leave. Im not sure about this as I want to be able to find another job as soon as possible but having been there for 14 years the gardening leave is actually 3 months.

Would i be better off in this instance going for voluntary redundancy or continue for the agreement as they suggest? (what is in it for them that it is not voluntary?)

Anyone had this sort of experience, your help would be very much appreciated?

Thanks
Garden leave purely refers to a notice period that you are not asked to work. This is classed as a fully employed period and therefore you are technically not supposed to undertake additional work during this time without the consent of your employer.

If the company is asking for volunteers for voluntary redundancy then your legal rights remain the same as enforced redundancy. E.g. 1 weeks pay for every year worked, to a maximum as stated in your contract or to a legal minimum of 12 weeks for +12 years service.

TUPE does not affect you unless there has been a takeover of the business by another company - it's a transfer of rights guarantee for long serving employees of the old company in a take over situation.

Providing you have no policies that would be affected by volunteering for redundancy (not forgetting mortgage payment protection), then you won't be worse off taking voluntary redundancy - do get a letter confirming that your position has been made redundant.

That is to the best of my knowledge having been made and had to make other redundant...

If you are unsure, ask for proper legal advice! :)
 

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Sorry to hear Martin

You need to look out for what the end benefit is. If you have more than £8k mooching about your entitlement to Gov benefit is limited and poor. Also if the end game is that you are gone then I would be looking out for yourself. I'm guessing the best 'package' will be if you go sooner so would go for that. Funny thing is as long as you have the blessing of management you can have two jobs, garden leave with your soon to be ex-employer and a new job elsewhere.
 

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The only thing to be aware of is that your Garden leave is taxable income and therefore if you do find a new job within the 3 month unworked notice period, you will have to declare your new job as a second income - only the redundancy payment itself is tax free (as best as I can recall).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great advice there chaps, really appreciate you taking the time out to post them. All of this has proved useful during the best part of the day not just to me but to others. Obviously best advice comes from solicitors but it may not come to that by the looks of it.

Hopefully it will all work out ok. To be fair, the company dont appear to be pulling any fast ones, its all straight and above board. I could well be out of there before the end of the month. Although I have 3 months notice to receive and give, I have been told its unlikely they will ask me to work it.

After that, its time to set up on my own whilst looking for a new job.

Onwards and upwards basically.
 

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Was thinking about this today.

You tend to get a better payout if you take voluntary redundancy.

Good luck with what ever happens.
 

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Sounds like you've got your head screwed on ok so I'm sure you'll land on your feet if the inevitable happens. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Was thinking about this today.

You tend to get a better payout if you take voluntary redundancy.

Good luck with what ever happens.


I have heard this too but having had a chat with the finance manager today apparently there is a way of getting a better deal with an agreement on gardening leave. She did promise that everything they are doing for the ones that take redundancy is in our interests. Im hoping to use this "set back" to my advantage. I want to work in a more design orientated organisation but dont quite have the qualifications but we have a sister company 50 miles away who may be able to help me with freelance work. they are a small company and its feasible my skills can benefit them too. Who knows, but I have proposed this to the management so that Ican also keep my mac and software I use at work on the basis its to the advantage of the group even though Im not going to be employed there anymore.The response was initially favourable.
 

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Sorry to hear this Martin.

I hope everything works out for you and you get the best settlement you can.
 
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