Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Resigning and Redundancy

I don’t get it. “Embattled Culture Secretary” Maria Miller has resigned. Good – it was overdue in my view.

Now the BBC is reporting (News Channel 23:00 9 April 2014) that “she is giving her redundancy payment to a local charity”. According to the BBC Website the pay-off she is entitled to on leaving the cabinet is £17,000.
BBC News Website 9 April 2014: Maria Miller quits: Cameron defends ‘honest’ Parliament

*(The first £30,000 of Redundancy payments is tax-free)

Resign? AND Redundancy Payment? Does not compute! If you get dismissed you only get compensation if:

  • The dismissal is found to be unfair and you have been in office long enough to qualify
  • The dismissal is due to redundancy – i.e. your job disappears
  • Your employer chooses to sweeten the dismissal in order to avoid a tribunal

If you resign you only get compensation if:

  • Er, …
  • (You might get paid to go on immediate “gardening leave” to sanitise you and prevent you from immediately leaving and going to work for a competitor. But this is effectively pay and is therefore taxable.)

In leaving office, the Prime Minister expressed the wish that she might in the future rejoin the government.

Responding to Mrs Miller’s resignation letter he wrote: “I hope that you will be able to return to serving the government on the frontbench in due course, and am only sad that you are leaving the government in these circumstances.”
BBC News Website 9 April 2014 (07:54): As it happened: Miller resignation

That does not sound like a dismissal. But she is getting a (probably tax-free) lump-sum and will be welcomed back.

I don’t get it. But as PMQs showed today the PM doesn’t get it either (but in a different sense of the term). If we are meant to be “all in it together”, could the rest of us also get lump sums when we walk away from jobs? It could make a huge difference to job-seekers forced to take shit jobs if they knew they could resign and get compensation.


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