Your choice: Voluntary release March 2022
About voluntary release
From 1 to 18 March 2022, we are offering all employees with more than one year of service the opportunity to request voluntary release.
This gives you the choice of whether or not to make a request to leave your employment with mutual agreement and a release payment.
We’ve got a combination of the costs of Covid, rising demand in our care services and a national funding formula that makes the financial picture very tight for us even in good times.
Together that leads to a budget gap of £13m next year and it means we have to make some incredibly tough decisions on how to bridge the gap and make savings.
But even if that gap was less challenging, we’d still be looking to change how our Council works.
Before the pandemic we knew we needed to become a smaller, more agile organisation.
Sixty-five pence in every pound we spend goes on staffing and the Council has a legal duty to balance the books.
We don’t propose yet to make those reductions through compulsory redundancy. Instead we want to offer every colleague a choice to do what’s right for you.
We’re doing it in a fair way so you have a chance to consider your future and prepare financially to move on from your role, or change career direction, if that interests you.
We know that voluntary release means likely to lose some highly valued and experienced colleagues, but it is the fairest way and it will reduce the number of instances where the choice is taken away because we absolutely need to make these savings.
In line with our values of respect and everyone, if the choice is right for you it will help reduce the impact of the savings we need to make on others.
Release payments and your pension
Release payments are calculated using length of service, age and current salary and the maximum payment is capped at £30,000.
Employees aged 55 years or over who have been in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for at least two years will receive immediate access to an unreduced pension plus a voluntary release payment where their request for voluntary release is approved by the Council
Individual pension figures will be provide once you have requested voluntary release by 22 April 2022.
Pensions administration for the London Borough of Havering is run by the Local Pensions Partnership Administration.
You can reach them on 0300 323 0260 and the LPPA website has a contact form that you can use to submit queries via a secure online portal.
LPPA Your Pensions Service
PO Box 1383
Preston PR2 0WR
For more information on the LGPS scheme, including explanatory videos, modellers and online calculators, please visit the LPPA website.
Calculate your release payment
The 'managers and employeee guide' linked at the bottom of this page under 'Documents for you to read' has a calculation table for you to use in it.
You can also calculate your release payment using our online calculation tool.
Roles unlikely to be considered
We won’t be able to accept all requests and we will need to consider the business case for deleting every post where colleagues have expressed an interest and this will need to be agreed at a senior level.
Requests from employees in services where there are roles which are hard to retain or recruit to are very unlikely to be agreed.
This includes social workers, planners, occupational therapists and those employees who were in scope of the recent Business Support Review.
How it works
You can make a request for voluntary release by completing the form below and out of courtesy you should notify your line manager.
Your request will be reviewed by your line manager, making a recommendation to your Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) member to support or not support the request.
The Council’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) will review all requests, making a final decision to support or not support them.
All requests will then be considered by the Redundancy and Redeployment (R and R) Panel for a final decision.
Where requests are approved by the R and R Panel, the last day of service will be agreed between the employee and their line manager.
It is expected that all employees will work their contractual notice period unless exceptional circumstances apply.
This is a voluntary scheme which operates at the council’s discretion.
There is no right of appeal against the decision of the council. All requests are made on this understanding.
The deadline for completing the form and requesting voluntary release by Friday 18 March 2022.
If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org although we cannot offer pensions or financial advice. You are advised to seek professional financial advice as appropriate.