1. Aim of the Scheme

The aim of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) is to invite members of staff who have reached the age of 66 and over to apply for the scheme in order to release funding to create additional career development opportunities for those staff who would otherwise not benefit due to College financial constraints.

The VRS is a one off opportunity and by releasing staff it will benefit the College with regard to those financial pressures that currently exist in Faculties and Support Services.

2. Rules/Eligibility

The College would like to give eligible staff the opportunity to consider VRS and if they meet the eligibility criteria to make an application, should they wish to do so.

3. Eligibility Criteria

  • Must have reached the age of 66 or above on or before 30 September 2020
  • Must have a minimum of two years’ continuous service
  • Must be on an open ended employment contract
  • Employment is wholly funded by the College 
  • Must be prepared to work their notice,  hence pay in lieu of notice will not be payable
  • Must be prepared to take any and all accrued annual leave before agreed leaving date, any untaken leave will not be paid in lieu.

4. Members of staff will not be eligible to apply for the scheme if any of the following apply to them

  • Employed on a fixed term contract
  • Employment is wholly funded from external sources, e.g. grants
  • Employees who are currently being investigated under any of the following College procedures:  disciplinary, grievance, capability, or scientific misconduct procedures.
  • At risk of redundancy due to organisational change or transferring to another institution under TUPE regulations
  • Have accepted an offer of employment from another organisation
  • Employees who have resigned and given notice of termination of employment to the College
  • Employees who have received notice of termination of employment from College
  • Employees who are a named researcher on a grant or project and their departure would seriously impact the future funding of the grant or impede the future success and/or completion of the project.

5. Details of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme

The scheme will become available for eligible staff from 1 January 2021 and will close on 31 July 2021.

The scheme is entirely voluntary and members of staff will not be forced or  compelled to apply for the scheme. 

Expressions of interest in the scheme will be kept strictly private and confidential (between HR, Heads of Department and Pensions) and will be on a without prejudice basis.

There will be no automatic right to the scheme and the final decision on approving applications will rest with the Deans of Faculty or Directors of Service for applications in Support Services, in consultation with the Head of College Employee Relations.

At the discretion of the Dean of Faculty in consultation with the Head of Department, an earlier leaving date may be agreed, however any notice pay beyond the agreed leaving date will not be paid.

The Faculty/Department will not be permitted to recruit a replacement post for a period of six month and at no more than up to 80% of the salary of the person leaving.  Any request for an exception to this will be considered on a case by case basis. 

Any member of staff who is accepted for the VRS will not be eligible to work or to apply to work for the College in any capacity for a period of two years  from date of leaving.

Those staff accepted for the scheme will be required to sign a Settlement Agreement for which the College will pay £350 plus VAT towards their legal costs.

Academic staff who are successful with their application for VRS may be eligible for honorary status in recognition of the valued contribution to the College, e.g. Emeritus Professor for application from staff who currently hold a Professorial position.  The final decision on awarding an honorary title will rest with the Dean of Faculty.

6. Scheme’s Financial Offer

6 months’ pay with no cap and calculated on basic salary only (honoraria, responsibility allowances, Clinical Excellence Awards etc will not be included as part of basic pay).

Payment will be paid tax free in so far as it does not exceed £30,000.  Any remaining sum in excess of £30,ooo will be subject to appropriate tax and NI deductions.

7. Application Process

Members of staff who wish to be considered for VRS should submit a written request to their Head of Department and Strategic HR Partner,  who will consider whether the application meets the eligibility criteria. 

The Head of Department will discuss all eligible requests with the Dean of Faculty before a final decision is made on whether the application should be progressed to the Head of College Employee Relations to accept or reject an application.

If an application is rejected the Head of Department and HR will provide the member of staff with the reasons for their decision.

Where an application for VRS is accepted, HR will issue a Settlement Agreement to the member of staff with a deadline for it to be returned.  Once the Settlement Agreement is signed by both parties it will become legally binding.

8. Representation

As this is a voluntary and non-contractual scheme, there will be no right to representation at any meetings to discuss the application.

9. Appeals

As this is a voluntary and non-contractual scheme, there will be no appeals process where applications for VRS are rejected.

10. Withdrawal of Scheme

The College reserves the right to withdraw this scheme at any stage and without notice.

Ann Kelly

Head of College Employee Relations

January 2021