Severance pay refers to money offered to an employee by an employer to prematurely terminate their contract of work. In the UK, The term is often used interchangeably with the term ‘redundancy pay’.
Redundancy is when someone is formally dismissed from their post or job. It usually occurs because employers need to reduce their workforce, normally for financial benefits. Teachers Leaving the National Teaching Service should be aware of their rights.
In the education sector, teachers have numerous reasons to leave their positions. Redundancy usually occurs due to over-staffing; a reduction in school admissions; a poor reputation; new academy sponsors (if the school has academy status) and a re-drafting of the leadership structure.
If you are being made redundant, you may be eligible for certain rights, including:
redundancy or severance pay
a notice period (usually 3 months)
a consultation with your employer
the option to move into alternative jobs for teachers
‘reasonable’ time off to find a new job
There are certain rules about how people are selected for redundancy. Often the employer will ask for volunteers, although putting yourself forward does not guarantee that you will be chosen to be made redundant. Selection for redundancy should be carried out in a fair way, for example because of your level of experience or capability to do the job. Reasons such as age, gender, race, pregnancy or some form of disability are not acceptable, if someone was given redundancy due to any of these reasons they would have grounds for unfair dismissal.
According to UK legislation, as long as an employee has been continuously employed for at least two yearswith the same employer they are entitled to redundancy or severance pay. The amount that they are entitled to varies though according to length of service and the age of the employee.