Statoil resorts to more severance offers

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Norwegian state oil company hasn’t managed to encourage enough people to quit, as it continues efforts to cut staffing and costs in the midst of a major downturn. Now it’s offering more severance packages and incentives for older employers to take early retirement.

Newssite reported Wednesday that Statoil is targeting 5,000 employees in specific departments. All employees who are 62 or older can apply for early retirement packages that will give them 66 percent of their pay until they reach ordinary retirement age. Other employees can apply for severance packages of up to two years worth of full pay for those with high seniority.

Statoil’s goal is to cut staffing down to around 21,000 by the end of the year. The new offer is available from April 1 to May 16 for those working on projects, research, technology, purchasing, logistics, preparedness and various operations. Many have clearly hestitated to accept the severance and early retirement offiers, though, for fear of not being able to find new jobs.

The new offers come just after news broke that Statoil, despite tougher times, paid out bonuses equal to 5.5 percent of employees’ pay. The bonus offer was made just three months after everyone in the company received severance offers, and it sparked criticism both inside and outside the company.

Statoil spokesman Bård Glad Pedersen said the bonus was meant to reflect “good results” for 2015 “so therefore we thought this was the right thing to do.” He said the employees should have received even higher bonuses because the company performed well compared to others in the industry. “At the same time, the industry is in demanding times, so therefore we took the bonus down (to 5.5 percent) from what calculations otherwise suggested,” Pedersen told state broadcaster NRK. staff