Nokia is to introduce a global "Voluntary Resignation Package" to encourage staff to walk the plank, as well as trying to get them to take holidays and sabbaticals, in order to cut costs.
The moves are part of the Finnish giant's ongoing plans to "increase cost-efficiency and adapt to the challenging market environment", the company has been polling employees for ideas and come up with a plan to allow 1000 staff to resign, voluntarily.
Except for direct labour (factory workers and the like) and senior executives, who are exempted and (presumably) not permitted to resign, voluntarily or otherwise.
The "package" should include a substantial pay off. We contacted Nokia for clarification but beyond telling us that the payoff will depend on years of service they said it will be locally negotiated.
Nokia is also hoping some staff will decide to take a month or two off, unpaid, and is encouraging all staff to take their full holiday entitlement - to prevent the company having to pay them off at the end of the year.
This all makes sense, especially if you consider the economic downturn to be a temporary thing - replacing cut staff is expensive. In Salo the company has 2,500 staff being rotated through 500 "temporary layoffs", ready to resume full employment as soon as the economy turns around. But the pill would be easier to swallow of Nokia hadn't pissed away so much money pursuing a Web 2.0 dream.
Staff can sign up to resign, voluntarily, from the first of March and the offer remains open until 1,000 staff have signed up or the end of May, whichever is sooner. It's worth remembering that workers who resign aren't generally able to get unemployment benefit, though local rules vary, so it's worth checking before taking the cash.®