Special Voluntary Severance Scheme in TOCs

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An industry-wide Special Voluntary Severance Scheme (SVSS) has opened for most Train Operating Companies (TOCs) today, Wednesday 13 October 2021.

The SVSS was approved by the Department for Transport (DfT) for eligible employees working for TOCs and it opened for expressions of interest from midday today. It will be open for a three-week period, closing at 23:59 hours on Tuesday 2nd November. It does not - due to the imminent transfer to the Operator of Last Resort (OLR) - include Southeastern employees. Network Rail also opened the SVSS process in recent weeks.

Members are reminded that this scheme belongs with the employers and has not been agreed by TSSA, or any other of the rail unions. 

There is a no compulsory redundancy policy in place within these companies (as they are part of the Rail Industry Recovery Group) until at least the end of this year. TSSA is seeking to have this extended into 2022. Staff at these companies should not feel compelled to take voluntary severance unless that's what they really want.

TSSA understands that there will be some members who wish to take up the SVSS offer. However, for our rail industry this remains a challenging time and it is infuriating to see rail jobs and services being cut when we have the opportunity to expand and help meet the climate crisis.

Following the announcement, TSSA criticised the government for 11 years of Tory failure, which has been responsible for the mismanagement of our railways. TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes called it “ludicrous” to cut rail jobs and services given the role that rail can play in the fight to decarbonise. You can read our press release here.

If you need any help or advice at this time, please contact your TSSA rep or our Helpdesk on 0800 328 6273 or And if you have any colleagues who are not yet part of our TSSA family, please ask them to join today.

A full list of TOCs covered by today’s announcement is contained below. Please note that this only applies to England.

TOCs included in SVSS:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Greater Anglia
  • London North-Eastern Railway
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Essex Thameside
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Railway
  • South Western Railway
  • Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern Railways
  • TransPennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Railway

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