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Introduction to this document

Rejection of volunteer for redundancy letter

If you have invited applications for voluntary redundancy as part of your redundancy consultation procedure, you don’t have to accept everyone who applies and you can still revert to compulsory redundancy if necessary. Use our rejection of volunteer for redundancy letter to decline an employee’s application.

Good practice

As part of a fair redundancy, it’s common to invite employees to volunteer themselves for redundancy before embarking on a compulsory redundancy programme. This isn’t actually a legal requirement but it is good practice as it can provide a way of avoiding, or reducing the need for, compulsory redundancies and, as a matter of good employment relations, it’s always better to get rid of those who are happy to go rather than those who aren’t. However, it’s important for you to bear in mind that this doesn’t oblige you to agree to make those who have volunteered redundant. You always retain the right to make the final selection based on the future needs of your business. For example, if a key employee has volunteered, it’s unlikely you will want to dismiss them and so it would be quite legitimate to tell them you want to retain their skills set. You do, however, need to be careful about insisting on retaining people where there’s nothing to pick between them and those you want to go. In particular, don’t let personalities play a part in your decision-making process, as it needs to be objective. Although the ones that you want to stay can’t do anything about it, those who are subsequently made compulsorily redundant might try to argue that the redundancy process was unfair. This would be the case where you rejected volunteers in favour of compulsory redundancies in circumstances where the candidates were more or less equal, i.e. those you retained didn’t have specific skills sets, qualifications, experience, etc. which justified your decision to keep them.


Rejection of volunteer

Once you’ve objectively decided to reject a volunteer, use our Rejection of Volunteer for Redundancy Letter to write to the employee to confirm the position. This sets out in broad terms why the employee has been rejected. If you want to provide more specific details which relate to the particular circumstances of the case, you just need to amend the letter accordingly. The letter also gives the employee the opportunity to have a meeting to discuss the issue further. Note that there’s no legal obligation to actually have a meeting where you’re telling someone you want them to stay. This is because you’re no longer consulting with them about being made redundant. However, if the employee wants to have a meeting, it’s better to accommodate this - they’re going to be staying on in your business so it’s important they understand and accept the decision you’ve made.