University of Manchester introduces voluntary pay initiatives for 12,000 employees

University of Manchester has taken steps to deal with the financial ramifications of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic by introducing several voluntary pay measures for its 12,000 employees.

University employees who are paid from core university funds, including those on fixed-term contracts or on furlough, will be able to apply for voluntary severance. Employees with four years of continuous service will receive four months of their basic salary, staff between four to 10 years will receive seven months of their basic salary, while those beyond 10 years will receive 10 months of their basic salary.

A number of employees have also offered to take a voluntary pay reduction and the university has confirmed this will now be possible. Employees who wish to do so, can suggest a percentage of a salary decrease with the option to return to full pay at any time. This arrangement is only available to employees who are on core university funding and where this reduction would not reduce their pay to below the national living wage.

Any employees paid by university funds can apply for an unpaid career break of between three months and two years. If an employee’s salary is paid from an external fund, this would have to be agreed with a principal investigator and founder.

Additionally, employees funded directly by the university can reduce their working hours by a minimum of 10%, with a reduction in pay for three, six, nine or 12 months.

Karen Heaton, director of human resources at University of Manchester, said: “All of the measures above are voluntary, but it is likely that the university will be taking further measures to reduce its expenditure in the near future and when the full impact on student recruitment is known in October 2020.”

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“Despite the current challenges that we and all other universities face, we remain ambitious for the future. In order to continue to offer our students an excellent education and experience, perform high-quality research with impact and maintain our commitment to social responsibility, we must ensure we have sufficient funds.

“We are introducing these measures now to help to mitigate the scale of further action that will likely be needed in the near future and when we know the full impact on our student numbers in October 2020. These measures have also been introduced in response to enquiries from colleagues who have asked if there are any ways in which they can help towards addressing our current financial situation.”