Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
What is the reason behind the bosses' actions?
my wife is a newspaper photographer and he suggested that he was offering her friendly advice to take voluntary redundancy now as the next round would not be voluntary.
It is not illegal for an employer (including a manager) to make such suggestions, as long as they are not actually forcing the employee to make a decision. If this is just friendly advice as it is claimed, then it is not unlawful to say this - the final decision still rests with the employee and it would be for them to decide whether to go down the VR route. They are entirely within their right to reject that and stay put, but if compulsory redundancies do eventually come then they will have less of a choice as to whether they are made redundant or not.
However, if there has been a history between the manager who has made that suggestion and the employee, for example previous bullying, then such 'advice' can be seen as a continuation of their bullying. One may see this as a way for the manager to try and push the employee out when they have an opportunity to leave. However, in the absence of any such history it would not really be an issue.
Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much