VRS- 'Bump Severance'

What is 'Bump Severance'?

A ‘Bump Severance’ arrangement arises where an employee who has not been offered a VRS payment by their department would nevertheless like to volunteer to leave the University under the VRS terms.  Where their department agrees, the post they occupy can then be published on the bump severance register and made available to any employee who has been offered voluntary redundancy through VRS, but who wishes to remain in University employment and would consider moving to a new post. 

Where a suitable match is identified, and agreed to by all parties including both employing departments, the Bump Severance volunteer resigns from the University in return for a VRS payment and the other employee moves across to their vacant post.  A VRS flowchart (191kb) is available illustrating how this process works.

The Bump Severance Register

The ‘Bump Severance register’ is a webpage hosted on the Personnel Services website

Where a department agrees that a member of staff may go forward for Bump Severance, their departmental administrator or HR contact should draft the following information:

  • an anonymised summary and key details of the post (about 50-60 words) using the pro-forma Application to post job on bump severance register (12kb) ; and
  • a full job description including selection criteria for the post and details of a departmental contact to whom applications can be sent

These documents should then be emailed to personnel.services@admin.ox.ac.uk.  Personnel Services will:

  • post the summary on the register, and
  • supply the full details on request to any individual who has been offered voluntary redundancy and who is seeking alternative employment within the University.

NB these posts should not be advertised on the main University Jobs page and applications do not need to be processed via Core.

Posts will be placed on the register for an initial period of 3 weeks at the end of which any applications received should be considered by the department and an appropriate selection process carried out.  If no applications have been received at the end of 3 weeks, subject to the agreement of all parties, the post will remain on the register and any applications received should be considered as they are received.

The register will be closed on 31 July 2017, unless the VRS is extended.  

There can be no guarantee that a suitable candidate will come forward for any post on the register, and therefore there is no entitlement to leave on enhanced terms for those choosing to volunteer for this scheme.

Information for staff wishing to use the Bump Severance Register

If you wish to volunteer to resign through the Bump Severance arrangements

Individuals who would be interested in voluntarily resigning through a Bump Severance arrangement (in the event that their post is suitable for an employee who has been offered voluntary redundancy) should, in the first instance, speak to their departmental administrator or head of department, to establish whether the department would support this request.

Where agreement is given, the department must be prepared to hold a mini-selection exercise in order to assess any employees who apply and are potential matches for the post.  It will be expected that the post will be offered to an individual if they are of the same grade, are in a post which has been selected for VRS, and meet the selection criteria for the post.

There is no obligation for departments to agree that a member of their staff may put their post forward for the Bump Severance register: doing so will involve the department agreeing to interview, appoint and train a new employee, and it may not be operationally possible to do so during the period in which the VRS Bump Severance arrangement is available.

If you wish to apply for a post advertised on the Bump Severance Register

If you have been offered VRS benefits and wish, instead, to consider moving to another post you should review the register regularly. If you identify a post that may be suitable you should contact personnel.services@admin.ox.ac.uk who will send you further details of the post which will include details of how applications should be made and contact details for a named individual to whom applications should be sent.

Where a suitable match appears possible you may apply for the post.  In the event that multiple applicants come forward a selection exercise will be carried out.  Suitable applicants will be called for interview.  If, after interview, an applicant is found suitable for the post, he or she should be offered the post, subject to:

  • the department wishing to make a post redundant being able to factor the costs of the VRS payment to the volunteer leaver into their business case to close the post; and
  • divisional and ISAP approval of the case. 

If the VRS case is approved by ISAP the employee who has volunteered for the VRS will be released on the previously agreed terms on receipt of a letter of voluntary resignation, and the successful applicant for the post will be transferred across using the ‘direct appointment’ arrangements.

If, after interview, an applicant is found not to be a suitable match for a particular post they may apply for other posts on the Bump Severance Register for the remainder of the period they have been given to consider a VRS offer.


The costs of all departures under Voluntary Redundancy Scheme which are agreed by 31 July 2017 will be covered from central funding.

A separate application form to ISAP for approval to pay VRS benefits is available for where a Bump Severance arrangement has been agreed