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IBM: Voluntary redundo offer? Ticked. Min stat terms? Ticked

But at least TSS staffers won't have to get career advice from Capita this time

By Paul Kunert

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Exclusive IBM is hoping to lighten monthly payroll costs by, er, dangling minimum statutory redundancy terms in front of UK staff who volunteer to cut short their career at the creaking tech titan.

As El Reg revealed yesterday, Big Blue told staff in the Technical Services Support unit it was forming an Employee Consultation Committee to discuss proposals to “meet…business objectives” - a euphemism for cutting costs in what could be another year of stagnating sales.

The first meeting has occurred and the outcome was the launch of the Voluntary Separation Programme “where IBM offers its employees the option to leave IBM with a cash payment”, said Paul Simmons, director of TSS, part of Global Technology Services.

But in a trend that emerged last year, IBM will again offer its staff - the firm’s greatest asset - payoffs that are calculated on the statutory minimum as required by the government, something that will stick in the memory of many for a long time to come.

The offer includes an ex-gratia payment equivalent to statutory minimum terms; a 12-week notice period that is to be worked; and a “potential” to pay additional pension contribution from ex-gratia payment for those whole sign a “settlement agreement”.

Oh, and lest we forget, IBM will provide outplacement support, outsourced to an external company called Right Management - at least it won’t be Capita’s shoulders that IBMers will need to cry on this time around.

“Right Management offers practical guidance to individuals on moving to the next stage of their career and will include access to face-to-face workshops; career coaching; internet based transition workshops; and other online resources,” said Simmons in a memo to staff.

Staff accepted for voluntary redundancy will also get solicitor fees up to £500 paid.

“IBM will consider each expression of interest [in redundancy] and decide whether to make a voluntary offer to the employee. If a voluntary offer is made, there is no commitment on the part of the employee to accept,” said Simmons.

The EOI period runs until 2 March. Letters will be sent to staff on 8 March and the “anticipated” voluntary leave date is 12 June.

IBM has yet to talk about the number of people it is looking to leave, but presumably if it gets the requisite quota, a compulsory redundancy scheme will not run.

Good luck IBMers, and keep us posted on your progress. ®

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