1.1 Suitable alternative employment
The University will do all that is reasonably practicable to redeploy staff at risk to suitable alternative employment. In considering what is suitable alternative employment the University will consider such factors as the grading of the job, hours of work and, for employees with a physical disability or health complaint, the working environment.
Employees at risk of redundancy are expected to play an active role in identifying suitable alternative posts. They will, for example, be expected to familiarise themselves with vacancies that are notified to them and to make themselves aware of vacancies placed on the University website or e-recruitment system, and to apply for them as appropriate. Where employees are prepared to accept a lower graded post, or are prepared to accept part time employment, they should inform their Human Resources Manager or Advisor at an early stage. Employees at risk of redundancy have priority status for available posts within the University and will be considered in accordance with the Redeployment Process set out in section 5.3 (and 5.2 for employees on maternity leave) below.
1.2 Employees on maternity or paternity leave
Employees on maternity or paternity leave have an express statutory right to any suitable alternative employment that exists, ahead of any other employee including at-risk employees. Thus, a woman on maternity leave or a man on paternity leave has first call on a suitable alternative position. For example, if the University has one vacancy which would be suitable for three staff at risk of redundancy, one of whom is on maternity or paternity leave, the employee on maternity or paternity leave should be considered prior to the 2 other candidates and if she / he meets the essential criteria must be offered the alternative position, whether or not she / he would otherwise be the preferred candidate. If the employee accepts the suitable alternative role, it must be kept open until she / he returns from maternity / paternity leave.
1.3 Redeployment process
1.3.1 The University will place employees who are ‘at risk’ of redundancy on the University’s Redeployment Register until their notice period expires and their employment is terminated.
1.3.2 Employees on the Redeployment Register will be given preferential consideration in respect of agreed vacant posts within the University. This means that unless the vacancy is at a higher grade than their existing post (when normal advertising and selection arrangements would apply), Departments must interview employees at risk of redundancy before any other candidates, provided the application arrives by the advertised closing date and the applicant is able to meet the essential criteria for shortlisting for the post. This should happen before any other candidates are invited for interview. If the interview confirms that the candidate meets all the essential criteria for the post, or could do so with reasonable retraining, he/she should be offered the post on a trial basis (see 1.6 below).
1.3.3 Once a post has been approved for recruitment the Human Resources Advisor will identify, from the Redeployment Register, if there are any employees who are under notice or at risk of redundancy, for whom the post might constitute suitable alternative employment. Where any such at risk employees are identified, they will be given an opportunity to be considered for the post. Where they confirm that that they wish to be considered, they will be assessed against the essential criteria (as set out within the person specification) for the post. Normally this assessment process will include an interview and there will normally be a Human Resources Manager or Advisor at the interview. If the at risk employee meets (or best meets if there is more than one at risk employee being considered) those criteria, they will be appointed to the post subject to a trial period (as per 1.6 below). In the event that the assessment panel concludes that an individual is not suitable, the Chair of the panel would be required to provide the objectively justifiable reasons for reaching that decision.
1.3.4 It is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources to advise on the suitability or otherwise of candidates for redeployment. Departments have a requirement to follow advice provided by the Department of Human Resources in these matters.
1.3.5 Should the selection panel decide for any reason not to offer a vacancy to a candidate in the above categories, full records must be kept and the panel must be able to show that the reason for its decision was clearly based on a comparison of a candidate’s skills, abilities and experience with those required for the post.
1.3.6 When an at-risk employee is redeployed to a lower-graded redeployment post, they will remain on the Redeployment Register for a period of 6 months as confirmed to the employee.
1.4 Refusal to accept a suitable alternative post
If an employee refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment and in the University’s view the refusal is unreasonable, the right to redundancy payment will be forfeited.
1.5 Pay protection
Employees who are redeployed to a post one grade lower than the post from which they have been made redundant will be entitled to pay protection on a mark-time basis for a period of 12 months, which will commence on the date on which they are transferred to the new post. During this time they will not be entitled to cost-of-living awards or incremental progression. After the end of that period, they will normally transfer to the non-contributory point scale maximum of the lower grade, and become eligible for cost of living increases and contribution pay in the lower grade. Staff who are redeployed to a post more than one grade lower than the post from which they have been made redundant will not be entitled to pay protection.
1.6 Trial periods
Employees at risk of redundancy who accept the offer of suitable alternative employment are entitled to a trial period of 4 weeks. The duration of the trial will be confirmed and notified to the employee before the trial commences. The trial period will give both employee and the University an opportunity to assess whether the new job is suitable. If an alternative post is deemed not suitable by the University, the employee would be entitled to receive a redundancy payment. The trial period will run concurrently with the notice period where notice has been given.
1.7 Time off to seek alternative employment
Employees under notice of redundancy or at risk of redundancy and on the University’s Redeployment Register are entitled to reasonable time off to look for alternative employment or to arrange training.
1.8 Early release of redundant employees
Employees under notice of redundancy who obtain employment with a different employer may ask to leave early. The University will not unreasonably refuse such a request and a mutually agreed date will be established. The date will become the revised date of redundancy for the purposes of calculating any entitlement to a redundancy payment and for establishing the employee’s effective date of termination. There will be no entitlement to payment for the remainder of the original notice period.
2. Appeal procedure
Employees who consider that the selection criteria have been unfairly applied to them and that they have been unfairly made redundant have the right of appeal.
Staff wishing to appeal under this section should write with 10 working days of the letter giving notice of their termination of employment to the Director of Human Resources, stating the reasons for their appeal. This appeal process should be followed rather than using the Grievance Policy & Procedure.
The redundancy notice will not be suspended during the appeal, but will be revoked or amended if the employee is successful. The appeal will be heard by a panel of three members chaired by a Pro-Vice-Chancellor advised by the Director of Human Resources or his/her deputy.
April 2013 (Revision of collective consultation timetables following the implementation of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (Amendment) Order 2013)