"Miserly" IBM payout slammed

Union leaders have accused IBM of offering its IT professionals a miserly redundancy package, as it consults its workforce on...

Union leaders have accused IBM of offering its IT professionals a miserly redundancy package, as it consults its workforce on hundreds of possible job losses.

Unions believe up to 1,000 UK jobs could go as part of IBM's global restructuring. It is feared that more than half of these job losses could be compulsory.

The terms of IBM's redundancy package for UK consultants are significantly less generous than redundancy deals from other major IT suppliers, leaders of the Amicus IT Professionals Association claimed.

Although IBM is offering redundant staff two weeks' pay per year of employment, the employee's notice period is offset from the package for compulsory redundancies, according to union leaders.

This means a consultant with eight years' service would be entitled to 16 weeks' pay. However, the pay in lieu of notice - eight weeks in which the employee would not have to work - will be deducted from the final pay-out, leaving only eight weeks' pay.

Comparable suppliers normally offer a redundancy payout based on time of service plus the money for the notice period, the union said.

An IBM spokeswoman said it was premature to talk about job losses. She said the company would seek to redeploy any affected staff within IBM, but added that redundancies could not be ruled out. She refused to comment on redundancy packages while staff are still being consulted.

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