- It is ‘posts’ that are withdrawn and staff only become at risk of redundancy if their post is affected.
- Before considering change that may result in redundancy, the checklist in Annex B of the Management of Organisational Change Toolkit should be referred to.
- If the redundancy cannot be avoided, the consultation process outlined in the Management of Organisational Change Toolkit should be followed
Individuals can indicate that they are interested in taking redundancy - however, the final decision rests with the organisation. The organisation has a legal responsibility to look for suitable alternative employment for its staff and the manager must ensure that the right skill mix remains in post. Allowing staff to volunteer for redundancy may adversely impact on the skill mix and leave resentment and demotivation. Also, redundancy and early retirement can be expensive with the costs outweighing any financial savings being made by removing the posts.
In considering 'at risk' staff a manager is entitled, as part of the selection criteria to take into account factors such as:
- Sickness absence
However, a formal and robust selection process must be used with evidence presented if the individual is totally unsuitable for the job and reasons why they cannot be offered the 4 week trial period as a minimum. This process cannot be used as a way of removing a poor performer from the organisation.
The selection criteria and selection method for appointing to posts should be set out in the consultation document. 'Slotting in' can be used where the job is primarily the same and the numbers are not being reduced.
Where posts have merged, significantly changed or the number of posts has reduced the method should be appropriate for the post e.g. interview, presentation, in-tray/written exercise, assessment centre and can include factors such as disciplinary and sickness records. Any assessment should be based on the requirements for the post as outlined in the person specification.
It is a good idea to hold open meetings with staff, Trade Union and Staff Side representatives should also be invited to attend. This will depend on the extent of the changes and the number of staff affected.
Individual meetings should be held with all staff affected by change and if redundancies are likely then these meetings must be conducted formally. Staff should be advised of the meetings in writing in advance and informed of their right to be accompanied at this meeting by an accredited Trade Union or Staff Representative or Full Time Official of a recognised staff organisation or a Fellow Worker who must be an employee of the organisation.
Whilst on the trial period the originating department is responsible for the costs of the employee. Once the trial period has ended and the move is confirmed the employee is transferred to the new post and department in the normal manner. If the trial is agreed as unsuccessful the employee continues employment in the originating department for the duration of their notice period.
All staff affected by the change must be assessed against a set of core competencies for the job. Staff must know what they are being measured against. All criteria for selection should be set out in the Management of Change proposal. All staff affected by the change that meet the essential requirements of the person specification must be interviewed.
At the interview the member of staff should be given the opportunity to talk about their skills and experience and demonstrate areas where they feel they match the competencies required and can add value to the new structure. The interview must be carried out in line with the organisation’s recruitment and selection - Pre-employment Checks Procedure and include the Knowledge and Skills Framework applicable to the role. As part of the selection criteria you can take into account current history of:
- Sickness absence
A manager cannot use these categories purely to exit a poor performer from the Organisation. 'Bumping' may also be considered, which is supported in employment law. Bumping happens where there is a reduction in the requirement for work of a particular kind in one section of the organisation and a member of staff at risk of redundancy is redeployed into another section of the organisation by displacing an existing member of staff from their post. The displaced member of staff is then dismissed by reason of redundancy. The organisation will apply fair selection criteria and adopt a fair process in relation to that dismissal.
If you wish to do this, please seek advice from the HR Consultancy Team (insert contact).
Yes, without fail. When making any changes a manager should always consult with staff. The organisation has a Recognition Agreement with the Trade Unions that obliges the organisation to consult for a period of a month on any and all changes.
Meaningful consultation is an important aspect of the process as this allows staff to raise any concerns, challenges and/or alternative solutions. It entails listening to counter proposals and objections and attempting to reconcile them.
- The managing organisational change policy provides that an employee has the right to be accompanied to all meetings by an accredited Trade Union or Staff Side representative, full time official of a recognised staff organisation or by a fellow worker who must be an employee of the organisation.
- Employees have no right to be accompanied by anyone else e.g. spouse, partner, legal representative.
Trade Unions and Staff Side representatives should also be consulted collectively through the Partnership Forum.
A written record of any feedback received on the consultation document or the process should be kept so that they can be responded to formally during the consultation period.
At the end of the formal consultation period, the manager must confirm whether they accept or reject the feedback, with clear reasons for their decision(s) together with the final plans that are going to be implemented. This is meaningful consultation.
Changes can still be made when mutual agreement has been actively sought but not attained. Notice of the change(s) must be given in writing in line with the terms of the contract of employment.
A member of staff who is under notice of redundancy and has been offered a suitable alternative job within the organisation, has the right to a trial period of four weeks in that job. This trial works both ways with the department also assessing suitability for the role.
Bumping happens where there is a reduction in the requirement for work of a particular kind in one area of the organisation and a member of staff at risk of redundancy is redeployed into another area of the organisation by displacing an existing member of staff from their post. The displaced member of staff is then dismissed by reason of redundancy. The organisation will apply fair selection criteria and adopt a fair process in relation to that dismissal.
If you wish to consider bumping, please seek advice from the HR Services.
The organisation has a redeployment register where staff whose jobs are at risk are provided with links to the details of job opportunities within their organisation and help with CV writing and interview skills. Displaced staff will have access to these details before the job is more generally advertised. Where staff meet the essential requirements of the person specification for available posts, they will be guaranteed an interview for the post.
Staff can also access the staff counselling service for support.