back to article Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Wanna walk the plank voluntarily? You got it

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is to initiate a voluntary redundancy (VR) option nearly two months after putting 1,092 UK staff in Enterprise Services (ES) on the chopping block. Techies at HPE were told they were in scope for compulsory job cuts in March including 780 in IT Outsourcing and 173 from the Application Business …

  1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    At some stage (it might require a couple of changes of government), the UK public sector are going to realise how they have been cutting there own (and our) throats. A combination of a dispersal/degradation of technical skills, the drop in personal taxes (paid by UK residents), and the leeching of corporate profits overseas make many of the decisions look cretinous. And it is not that they even see better technical performance either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Your comment has what to do with this story?

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        @ AC - I'll answer nothing. I suspect HPE will do the same over here. I am not sure that either successor to HP will survive because they seem both to be legacy product companies run by some very dim PHBs/

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Your comment has what to do with this story?

        If I might answer for the original poster, everything.

        HPE leach jobs and skills from the public (and corporate) sector. For HPE to make money they have to operate at lower cost, so the usual "value" lever is to get rid of TUPE victims and heap their work on the increasingly small band that remain. Ultimately that's never enough, so the jobs get sent to crappy third world locations that provide poorer service and productivity, but do so cheaply per arse-on-seat.

        The government's role in this is their idiotic role over decades of signing free trade deals without "balance of trade" clauses. So when DoH outsource payroll jobs to Steria, or DWP outsource IT to HPE, who then move them to South Africa, India or wherever, the UK jobs disappear, the demand for the administrative, systems and mangement skills reduces, and the exchequer lose employee and and employer payroll taxes.

        When government, or a company use an offshore provider, they import the labour. When you import things, you have two options - export an equivalent amount of work, assets or services. Or just borrow and hope that the problem goes away, or rather that you'll have retired on a fat public sector pension before it all goes badly wrong. Guess which successive governments have done?

        So that's why offshoring is mostly evil, and why government has a central role. At the very least, they should apply the same payroll taxes to imported labour as they foist on UK employers. If HPE were paying employer's NI, and obligated to pay a decent pension to offshore workers, and employ them under UK conditions, I suspect the financial case for offshoring would disappear.

        1. TheProfessorY

          This, I think, is also applicable not just to offshoring, but also "onshoring" when it comes to the EU. Not to get too political, but offshoring to lower paying countries and the corresponding loss of skills and tax revenue can equally be applied to the EU single market, only in a not so obvious way. From the Government viewpoint it will still keep more of the money in the UK rather than giving it indirectly to employees who are working outside of the Exchequer's grasp, as those who come to the UK from the EU will pay UK taxes. But they are generally working for less money than someone already in the UK would earn. This lowering of the pay affects the cost base for that skill and so dampens wages overall. Lower wages mean less in direct income taxes, employees have less money to spend so there is lower indirect taxation though consumption, and higher profits for companies which are being diverted to overseas subsidiaries who pay reduced or no taxes on that.

        2. scotposter

          "The government's role in this is their idiotic role over decades of signing free trade deals without "balance of trade" clauses. So when DoH outsource payroll jobs to Steria, or DWP outsource IT to HPE, who then move them to South Africa, India or wherever, the UK jobs disappear, the demand for the administrative, systems and mangement skills reduces, and the exchequer lose employee and and employer payroll taxes."

          and when companies do it, they all ultimately are simply losing customers. A $40k job in the UK replaced by a $10k job in India, means the $10k person in India is not buying German or Italian or UK cars. They're not buying any products and services the UK (or EU) one would buy, they can't afford them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A spokesdroid buzzworded:

    "These changes are part of a company-wide strategy to give Hewlett Packard Enterprise the needed workforce to be a more nimble customer and partner-centric company."

    What? You mean that they have been less nimble and partner-centric than they could have been - FOR YEARS! That has to be a management failure. Heads should roll...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet IBM "could not afford" a voluntary redundancy program. Perhaps their staffers should involve the Public and Commercial Services union and the UK Works Council.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HR productivity increases

    Matt the Knife launched an 'additional' Q3 VR programme yesterday before those (un)fortunate enough to be exiting on 29 April were out of the door. Indeed before some had even had that confirmed.

    It seems HPE have got so good at Accelerating (the) Next bunch out of the organisation that they can now handle concurrent flows. Well done you HR, well done you.

    I won't rush as it's more than likely there'll be another chance to get a payoff in Q3 if they stick to the well established timetable of 'consultancy' for giving decent people the bum's rush every quarter end. 28 out of 29 quarters in a row in ITO?

    Who knows they might even learn from Q2 and exit people it with a bit more notice, decency and respect in Q3. I won't hold my breath.

  5. Captain DaFt

    Updated A HPE spokesman sent us this statement:

    "Blah blah blah blah, buzzword boilerplate."

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The HP fragments must have remarkably able C-suite executives. Because as things are going at present they'll be the only ones left to fill the contracts. At which point they'll probably be hit with IR35.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a train wreck

    In the ITO organisation, there is no visible strategy or direction from management. However, we still regularly get 'Organisational Announcements' and other bullshit-bingo emails popping up in our mailboxes, but most of them are not remotely relevant to us, or look like they should have been addressed to staff working at another company.

    Myself and a substantial number of my colleagues working on the DWP account are all finishing tomorrow either by voluntary or compulsory redundancy, which in some cases seems to have been by some completely random and arbitrary selection process. Any remaining roles have all been moved up to Cobalt in the North East but in most cases the 'knowledge transfer' to our replacements has not been supervised or managed at any level and there has been no review or signoff on this before staff have left. There is now a real risk or something going wrong and HPE having serious issues resolving it.

    Also, as the article mentions, a small number of people there who were told they were leaving tomorrow are now not leaving until probably the end of July or October - they really are not happy bunnies, and I truly feel sorry for them!

    I'm just glad to be getting out with a half-decent payoff.

    Anonymous, because obviously I want to keep the cash!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a train wreck

      Ah, the good old 'organisational announcements' - some exec you've never heard of has been promoted to head of some department you've never heard of. Well good for them..

      I'm also finishing Friday. Working on a different account, but the knowledge transfer process sounds similarly disorganised. In our case, KT has consisted of a couple of blokes from Newcastle coming down to sit next to people and observing them for a fortnight. I have no idea how they are supposed to learn what they need to know in that time, and I actually feel sorry for them.

      Anon for similar reasons...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with voluntary redundancy is you usually lose the people you want to keep, as they are the ones more likely to get another job. People who can find a better job elsewhere will go for the redundancy, as why not, you will be paid to move to a better job. Where as the people that cant get better jobs will stay. Thus reducing your workforce ability to be a more nimble customer and partner-centric.

    If you don't accept the people that want to take the redundancy as you know you need them, they will probably leave anyway as they have a better job offer now and don't want to risk being on the chopping board in 6 to 12 months in the next round when they no longer have this better offer.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Today is the last day for many in ITO. Those who are left may well be gone in a few months.

    There will be major contract fails in future when bad thing happens and the people who actually understood how stuff worked have gone.The people in Newcastle/Erskine try their best but also know its just a matter of time before their job is cheapshored so will not work endlessly.

    The HPE UK offices will be filled with men in suits shouting on their mobiles [ the use of cheaper IP based telephony being beyond their expertise and lacking in fancy bluetooth headset], and young persons fresh out of university slowly realizing this is not the tech job they were looking for.

    HP may still have boffins in the labs inventing but people who know how to get stuff done are needed too. As long as the dogma of cutting jobs in UK continues to override business cases then HPE will go downhill.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was made redundant today

    Well, today I was shown the door by HPE after a long period of loyal service which counted for nada.

    Yesterday the management had the gall to publish the so called results of the Voice of the Workforce' survey, which in their opinion shows a 'happy' and 'satisfied' workforce. Obviously they didn't read anyone's opinions from their survey in the UK.

    Morale is ZERO. Hundreds of people got the chop today, but by the same token dozens were told 2 weeks ago that they were 'extremely likely' to be made redundant, only to be told in their 3rd confirmation meeting last week that their decisions had been deferred for 3 months.

    This means these poor people now have 3 more months of purgatory to go through worrying about their jobs.

    2 people I know accepted job offers based on being told they were off....they now have to either stay or leave with no redundancy money.

    I myself was over the moon to be chosen. The loss of my department means the government department we provide IT Support for now has no one to support it. Quite literally no one.

    Senior management in Erskine were panicking today as it finally sunk in that there are no bodies on the ground at the customer site anymore....hilarious!

    But I no longer care. I am gone and start a new job with a small company in 5 weeks time. I couldn't be happier for myself, but I feel agonisingly sorry for the poor sods left behind working for this absolute joke of a company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was made redundant today

      As one of the poor sods left behind (for now) I salute you. It's going to be a shambles for the next 3 months until the next cull

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The rumour mill tells me that 7-800 more people are due to go before the end of 2016

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good service wasted

    I was made redundant as well after a long spell with EDS/HPE. The way it has been done has is quite shocking and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. It makes me wonder what sort of company HPE has become and I feel quite sorry for those that are left. A lot of good people are going and senior management do not actually understand their workforce and they are now going to struggle to keep projects running. They will have lost a lot of knowledge and experience. It is a shame that I feel like I have wasted my time with the company although I know I have done a lot of good work, and that after the initial shock I actually don't care anymore.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HPE now recruiting contractors to back fill work that was done by people who left at the end of April - what a triumph

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My day rate is £1k :)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HPE = Help people exit

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems they can't even get VR right. Emails said you'd be told today if you were accepted and had to sign the paperwork by Monday. I know 10 people that applied and not a one had heard anything by 5pm. No emails, no meetings with managers, nothing. What a shambles.

  17. graphicconception

    Team Spirit

    Luckily, I escaped last year. It looks as if things aren't changing.

    Redundancy is quite a simple process. You start with two numbers on a piece of paper. One is total of salaries paid and the other is the revised budget. You then pick people from the lower orders at random to make the numbers balance.

    I always used to wonder why they did not try to keep profitable teams in tact but then I saw the light. Having people with specific skills is a pain. You need to know what these skills are for forward planning purposes and you also need to pay for training to keep them up-to-date.

    Much better to let them all go. Then you can hire contractors just for as long as you need them. No holiday pay, no pensions, no training, don't complain very much and you can never have the wrong skill set. You just choose different people. It greatly assists planning because you don't need to do any. Just accept any job you can then hire the appropriate people. What could go wrong?

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