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HP: This Xmas, get the SACK... and not the one filled with presents

20 December email offers staffers chance to take redundo

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

HP has sent its staff a Christmas missive informing them that some of them could be sacked in early 2014.

The cheery letter said that some workers will have the choice of taking voluntary redundancy. However, if too few people choose this option, HP will be forced to start getting rid of people.

Workers affected by the scheme will be particularly galled to know that CEO Meg Whitman's basic salary (sans share options) was recently bumped up to $1.5m.

Sent on 20 December, the message used the phrase "expression of wish" in place of the words voluntary redundancy, and "workforce management update" in place of good old-fashioned mandatory redundo.

Anyone who is affected by HP's decision will receive an "invitation to a group notification meeting" in the first few days of January. HP may be expecting to pack 'em in at these meeting, because they will be held on two separate days.

The purpose of these meetings is to tell staff the reasons they have been dunked into a "redundancy pool" and outline the number of people at risk of being thrown onto the dole queue.

The letter, which The Register has seen, read:

Whilst I do very much understand that the timing, impact and nature of this message is unsettling, I also wanted to maintain our commitment to communicate openly with you about the process. Your leaders are all working very hard to minimize the impact and make sure we create a delivery organisation that can enable HP to win in 2014 and beyond.

The contact who showed us the letter said it had upset the staff affected.

They said: "Most people will have broken up for Christmas and New Year by the time they received this letter."

An HP spokeswoman said consultations on redundancies had begun at the end of November. "The proposed UK workforce management plan is part of HP’s global multi-year productivity initiative," she said.

"HP remains committed to supporting the employability of its employees through a number of internal initiatives, including re-skilling, redeployment and support to obtain alternative employment as appropriate." ®

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