Can my employment be ended a month earlier than agreed?

I elected to take voluntary redundancy earlier this year. I received a letter from my employer confirming my redundancy date as 31 December. There is a project they wanted me to complete. I accepted and signed the letter as requested by my employer. My statutory redundancy and contractual notice is 12 weeks. A couple of days ago my line manager said he wanted me ‘off his books’ a month earlier than agreed. This will affect my 2016 bonus and my company pension so I want to work until the end of the notice period given in the letter. Can he do this or is the original redundancy letter legally binding and the company needs to either keep me working until the end of the year or let me go on gardening leave?

I understand that you elected to take voluntary redundancy earlier this year – although your contractual notice period is 12 weeks, the company confirmed to you that your final day would be 31 December as there was a project they wanted you to complete. Your line manager has now told you he wants you to finish at the end of November, which will affect your bonus and pension.

If you have agreed to take voluntary redundancy, and this is the reason that you have now been served notice (i.e. if the project will be finished by the end of November), then providing they serve the correct notice (12 weeks) the company can end your employment when they want. They can choose to pay you in lieu of notice, ask you to work your notice or put you on gardening leave. You should then receive your statutory redundancy pay once your employment terminates. Whilst it may seem unfair that it affects your bonus and pension the company are entitled to do this.

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