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Professional and Administrative Services (PAS) review - Message from John Brady

John Brady

John Brady, Director of Human Resources

Dear colleagues,

In my recent update regarding the PAS review I introduced the process review work that is now underway. This important part of the exercise will lay the foundations for the design of the new central support services. There is no doubt that much will change as we agree new and better ways of doing things, and most of us will experience that change in the ways we work, the systems we use and the jobs we do. I have also been open in stating that it is certain that the University will require fewer support jobs than it has currently by the end of the exercise.

I realise that this is an unsettling time for many of you, not least in wondering what the future holds for you and your job. In this context, and to help ease the transition to the new arrangements, the University is offering an early opportunity for relevant staff to express an interest in voluntary redundancy (or early retirement if that is applicable).

I am writing now to provide you with details of the voluntary redundancy scheme, to explain what you should do if you wish to express an interest, and to tell you how decisions will be taken and progressed.

The opportunity to express an interest in voluntary redundancy is open to all staff in a non-academic, professional, administrative, clerical or technical support role. The opportunity is not being offered to colleagues in Academic or Research roles, nor is it open to colleagues in manual and ancillary roles.

The University's offer, subject to agreement and the University's normal approval arrangements, will be a basic payment equivalent to two times your statutory (uncapped) redundancy entitlement, with a minimum payment equivalent to 3 months' salary and a maximum payment equivalent to 9 months' salary. Normally, any such payment up to the first £30k will be free of tax and N.I. deductions. If offered voluntary redundancy, and you accept this and the enhanced payment, you will be acknowledging you have no further rights to notice pay or pay in lieu of notice nor to any further right of appeal against the University.

By way of example, Ms B is 48 and has worked at the University for 10 years. She is on Grade 5 with a salary of £27,866 per annum. Her statutory redundancy entitlement would be £6,264. Under the terms of the University offer she would receive £14,472.

Where early retirement is requested the sum of money available may be used to purchase additional pensionable service. Please note that in certain specific circumstances choosing to take early retirement may result in a charge against the University; should this be the case the payment available may be used in part or whole to offset any charge incurred.

If you would like to receive a confidential quote detailing the payment you might receive please request this by e-mailing PASVS@reading.ac.uk stating your name, where you work and your Employee Number if you know it. If you would like to receive information regarding an estimate of your pension entitlements (as at 31 March 2015, for illustrative purposes only) please e-mail Pensions@reading.ac.uk providing the same basic information.

A basic voluntary redundancy payment quote will normally be provided to you within five working days. If you require an estimate of your pension benefits we will normally provide this information within fifteen working days, but this may take longer depending on the pension scheme you belong to and how complex the information is.

Please note that seeking a quote as above will not by itself be considered an expression of interest in voluntary redundancy. If you do wish to express an interest you should do so in writing no later than 28 February 2015. Please e-mail PASVS@reading.ac.uk stating your name, where you work and your Employee Number if you know it, stating explicitly that you wish to be considered for voluntary redundancy (or early retirement if applicable).

By submitting a request to be considered you are only stating an interest in voluntary redundancy; this does not commit the University to making you an offer, nor does it commit you to accepting any offer that might follow. All requests to be considered for voluntary redundancy will be discussed in the first instance with the relevant Head of Service, Head of School and other line managers as appropriate. Each request will be considered in the light of the managerial interest; for the purposes of this voluntary redundancy proposal this is defined as:

  • To minimise the need to select staff for compulsory redundancy as the PAS review continues.
  • To contribute an appropriate level of cost savings.
  • To ensure that future support services retain staff willing, and with the appropriate skills, aptitude and competences, to work within central support services that are highly-effective, customer-focused, flexible and responsive to customer needs.
  • To ensure that those who will lead and manage within the future support services are committed to, capable of delivering and accountable for high-quality, responsive and cost-effective services, attuned to the needs of the University community, and will work in partnership to ensure those services are fit for purpose.

Decisions will be communicated in writing by 31 March 2015. Where an offer of voluntary redundancy (or early retirement) is made the offer letter will contain the detail of the payment to be made, the proposed effective date for the termination of employment and any other associated terms. The deadline for agreeing the offer of voluntary redundancy (or early retirement) will be Friday 17 April 2015. This deadline may be extended by agreement should there have been any unforeseen delay at an earlier stage in the process, or for any other good reason.

The University reserves the right to vary these proposals in the light of any specific managerial interest. There can be no guarantee that the proposed voluntary redundancy offer as detailed above will be repeated at any future date. The proposal relates specifically to the PAS review, as things currently stand, and should not be considered a standard arrangement.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of this scheme in person you can, if you so wish, contact the Human Resources Partner for your area. The local UCU and members of the Staff Forum (representing staff up to and including Grade 5) have been provided with information about the scheme and will be available if you wish to speak with them.

If you have any questions or need further information about the voluntary redundancy scheme you can also e-mail these to PASVS@reading.ac.uk ; we will reply to any questions asked as soon as we possibly can. If you have any questions about PAS generally, or wish to make some suggestions, please feel free to e-mail PAS@reading.ac.uk

A series of FAQs relating to the PAS exercise, and updated to reflect the launch of the voluntary redundancy scheme, are available to view at PAS FAQs. The FAQs contain further information and links you may find useful, please read these along with this note.

I hope you have found this information useful.

John Brady

Director of Human Resources

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