The circular letters from the British Council “Chief Executive” have been signalling for some time that redundancies are on the way. And now all employees in Payband 8, just below senior management, have been invited “to apply for compensated early departure” (which in practice means 12th November). And here’s the formula:
“We have therefore agreed to offer the opportunity for a limited number of UK appointed staff at pay band 8 to apply to leave the organisation on Voluntary Exit terms under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS)”.
Because the British Council is, despite its permanent efforts to obfuscate, an arm of government, it is a civil service scheme. Some people in senior management probably know who they want to get rid of in middle management(and vice versa, but that door is of course locked) but the “opportunity” has to be offered to everybody. In payband 8. However “we will not be able to consider applications from all colleagues”. This is because any member of that payband with skills – commercial skills, project management, customer management, cultural relations expertise, specialist skills in English, Exams etc., or leadership skills – is unlikely to have their application accepted.
Think about that. If you have transferable skills (such as initiative) and want to get out of the British Council you should now clean out any favourable references you might have, dress sloppily, upset your line manager, fall asleep at your desk etc. But if you are one of those who scratch your head and wonder what “cultural relations” are, or is, and have only what we might call BC survival skills, the answer is simple: don’t apply, and everything will be OK.
This is not a great time to be made redundant, especially for assorted civil servants who may be as out of touch with the pressures of the real world as the British Council senior management. So I guess there won’t be many running for the exit. What the British Council certainly will succeed in doing is demotivating an entire stratum of its own management.
Heads up a*ses as per usual.