Fujitsu opens door, invites '200 to 250' staff from UK Delivery team to walk out

Juicier payoff for those who do, but employees fear process will become compulsory if numbers aren't met

Exclusive Fujitsu is looking for hundreds of volunteers in its UK Delivery organisation to leave with an enhanced payoff, though only employees with at least five years' service can currently apply. At the same time it is running a small redundancy process in other areas of the business where contracts are running off.

The Voluntary Exit Scheme (VES) was introduced to staff this week and has two options for those who choose to partake: they can hotfoot it on 31 March, the end of Fujitsu's current fiscal, or they can choose to remain until the close of the next.

There are around 3,000 folk employed in Fujitsu North West Europe Delivery team – all UK based – and though Fujitsu refused to confirm the numbers it is estimating will take up the offer, sources said it was between 200 to 250.

"If they do not get the 250 via voluntary then the process will turn compulsory," said one disgruntled employee. "The voluntary scheme is only open to those with five or more years' service which has angered a lot of those who believe the company is trying to get rid of older staff in place of younger 'trendy' staff."

Five years' service at a company does not necessarily equate to a greybeard, but our insider reckons that the VES will be open to all comers if requisite numbers are not hit in the first stage.

Clearly some belt tightening is a factor in Fujitsu's decision-making process but sources told us they felt the company had weathered the COVID-19 storm.

Global revenues for Fujitsu's first half-year ended 30 September were down 10.8 per cent year-on-year to ¥1.631tn (£11.48bn/$15.699bn). Profit was down 19 per cent to ¥50.19bn (£353.2m/$482.9m).

A spokesperson at Fujitsu sent us a statement: "Fujitsu can confirm that to ensure it retains a competitive cost base it has announced a Voluntary Exit Scheme for employees in its service delivery business."

Outside of VES, sources say the Japanese tech biz, which employs about 9,000 staff in the UK, put 100 people in its private-sector sales team at risk this week, together with some heads in the public sector, due to the ending of one contract with the Ministry of Defence and another with the Home Office.

Fujitsu told us it "anticipates making 44 redundancies" in its private-sector business though "it is hoped to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies by voluntary redundancies and redeployment."

"In the Public Sector 21 roles will be made redundant as two contracts come to an end," the spokesperson added. ®

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