Manchester United staff offered early bonus by Sir Jim Ratcliffe if they resign

manchester united staff offered early bonus by sir jim ratcliffe if they resign

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Manchester United minority owner, at Saturday’s FA Cup final. Photograph: James Marsh/REX/Shutterstock

Manchester United staff have been offered early payment of an annual bonus if they resign by next Wednesday, as part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s edict to get all employees into the club’s offices and his push to trim the workforce.

United have made it compulsory to work from their offices in Manchester or London from 1 June. Staff were informed in an email on Tuesday that anyone who does not wish to conform can quit and claim their bonus early for this season. It is understood the terms are also on offer to those who work exclusively from the offices but want to take the opportunity to leave with a payoff.

The bonus, which will otherwise be paid in September, can be worth single-digit thousands of pounds for some staff. United employees have until noon next Wednesday to confirm they wish to resign.

The email said of the office-only policy: “Whilst many have welcomed our new approach, we are aware that a number of colleagues prefer not to commit to this new way of working and are keen to understand their options. With this feedback in mind and the fact that we respect each colleague’s right to choose their approach to work, we will allow those who wish to resign now to claim their bonus early for this season if they cannot work from our offices from 1 June.”

United believe, the email said, that “a return to office will bring substantial benefits for individuals, teams, and the wider club and support our journey to return Manchester United to footballing success”.

A United spokesperson said: “This isn’t a voluntary redundancy programme. The club recognises that not everyone wants to work from the office full-time so has provided options for staff who don’t wish to return to the office to step away now.”

Ratcliffe, the 27.7% minority owner, believes the workforce can be trimmed and has previously cited email traffic statistics to staff as the basis for a ban on working from home. He told staff to seek ­“alternative employment” if they were not ­willing to come to club offices.

In an email sent to staff last Friday, plans for an end to home working were outlined. “To ensure we have enough space for colleagues to work safely, we will convert the Trinity Club, the Knights Lounge and the 1999 Suite in East Stand into office space,” the email said. “This is addition to existing facilities in the Engine Room and elsewhere across the stadium. Each desk will have a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

“The London office will be reconfigured to allow additional space for teams. Some teams will also be based at the Ineos office at Hans Crescent in Knightsbridge.”

Ratcliffe is this week leading a season review, which is not expected to be concluded on Tuesday. Sir Dave Brailsford, Ratcliffe’s key lieutenant, Jean-Claude Blanc, the acting chief executive, and Jason Wilcox, the technical director, are the other individuals most prominently involved. Joel Glazer, the United co-owner, will also be consulted.

Once the review is over a decision will be confirmed on the future of the manager, Erik ten Hag.

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