Guidance for those taking Voluntary Severance

Obviously, as a trade union, we don’t want people leaving their jobs, but we understand that many of our members will be looking to leave for a variety of reasons, given the right offer.

Here’s what to do if you are in that situation and want our help, assuming you’re a member of course.

If you’re told that your application has been accepted, you need to get some legal advice. This won’t be advice about whether you should accept it or not. That’s up to you. This is more a formality that’s legally required, and a trained expert will need to check the documentation and make sure you understand what you’re about to agree.

If you want a UNISON legal rep (from Thompsons, who are the leading group of solicitors specialising in trade union and employment law) then you just need to email us at with the pdf of the agreement that HR will have given you and a confirmation of your contact details (name, address, email and phone number). We’ll then pass this on and a Thompsons legal person will call you to discuss the document.

If you’d sooner sort this all out yourself at a High Street solicitors, then they can also provide a service, for a price. The University will cover the cost either way, within a limit of £300.

Please don’t forget, you’ve not agreed to anything until you sign and return the document and you can change your mind at any time before that. It goes without saying that unless you’re effectively retiring or close to retirement age, you should seek some information about the effect this will have on your pension and think about what you do next, especially given that some welfare benefits might be difficult to access if you’ve voluntarily left your job.

If you want to talk further about any of this, please feel free to contact a rep. We can help you with the practicalites but for obvious reasons, we can only point you in the right direction if you need more personalised advice. It’s probably worth contacting the LGPS people at Sussex County Council.

If you are leaving the University this summer, thanks for being a member and if you move on to future employment, please make sure you join a trade union.

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