1.1 Considering proposed changes

If any proposed business changes look likely to result in reduced staffing levels, or significant changes to duties or terms & conditions, advice should be sought from the Department of Human Resources. Such changes should be carefully considered. The University will inform trades union representatives as early as possible about the proposed changes, the reasons for them and the numbers and jobs potentially affected.

1.2 Avoiding redundancy

In order to avoid compulsory redundancy, maximum advantage will be taken of alternative solutions, which may include:

  • natural wastage
  • redeployment to other parts of the organisation
  • restriction on recruitment where practicable
  • ceasing the employment of agency/contract staff where this would liberate permanent employment
  • reviewing the use of temporary staff
  • ceasing or reducing overtime
  • seeking appropriate volunteers for redundancy
  • considering suggestions from trade unions/employees

Where the redundancy is due to the expiry of external funding, the expiry date will be known at the outset. The Department of Human Resources will normally notify the Department, the trades unions and the individual holding the post in advance of the expiry of funds, and will assist the post holder where possible in identifying suitable alternative employment.

1.3 Collective consultation with trades unions

Where proposed changes in response to changes in business or other requirements could result in jobs being designated as redundant, the University will consult with the trades unions as early as possible to allow feedback and comments on the proposals.

Where there are specified numbers, the appropriate statutory consultation periods will be observed as set out below:

  • where between 20 and 99 redundancy dismissals are proposed within a 90 day period: 30 days before the first dismissal takes place
  • where over 100 redundancy dismissals are proposed within a 90 day period: 45 days before the first dismissal takes place

The terminations of fixed term contracts are excluded from the collective consultation requirements and therefore should be excluded from these numbers.

These periods of consultation will commence from the time that the trades unions have been provided in writing with the following information:

  • reasons for the proposed redundancies
  • numbers and descriptions of employees occupying posts at risk
  • criteria for selecting employees for redundancy
  • timescale for dismissals
  • method of calculating redundancy payments to affected staff

1.4 Individual consultation with affected staff

Employees occupying a post at risk will be advised in writing as soon as possible, and will be seen individually by their manager and normally a Human Resources Manager.

The purpose of the meeting will be to explain:

  • the proposed changes in staffing and the reasons for them
  • the proposed timetable
  • the policy and how it will be implemented

and to seek:

  • the views of the employee with respect any practical means of mitigating or avoiding the redundancy, and with regard to future employment, retraining or redeployment
  • a consultation period with the employee of not less than one week will take place with affected staff

1.5 Notification to Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

The University is required by law to inform the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) if it is proposing to make more than 20 employees redundant at any site within a 90 day period. This must be completed at least 30 days in advance of the first dismissal and at least 45 days in advance for 100 or more employees. The terminations of fixed term contracts are excluded from these numbers. The Department of Human Resources will undertake the necessary notifications.

1.6 Selection for redundancy

The University is committed to ensuring fair treatment in the selection for redundancy. Where selection for redundancy is required, the University will normally consult with the relevant recognised trade unions on the method of selection as part of its collective consultation (see section 4.3 above).

1.6.1 Volunteers for redundancy: the University retains absolute discretion in whether to request volunteers for redundancy and whether or not to accept any volunteer for redundancy.

1.6.2 Method of selection: In selecting employees for redundancy any of the following criteria may be applied; the list is not exhaustive:

Skill, competence and experience: employees who lack the skills, competency and/or experience against those genuinely required for the post, or whose skills and/or experience are less developed than others in the pool. Performance and conduct at work: employees whose personal records contain evidence of an un-expired warning under the disciplinary, capability or sickness policies & procedures. For sickness absence only absence not related to a confirmed underlying health condition may be considered.

1.6.3 Alternatively where there is a re-structuring e.g. of roles within a team or area, the University may identify as ‘at risk’ all staff in the old posts and select which of these at-risk staff are slotted into the available new posts in the new structure by a process of ring-fenced competitive interviews or assessment against the person specification criteria of the new posts. Those staff who are unsuccessful from this ring-fenced process who do not slot into the available new posts, will remain at risk of redundancy and will move onto the processes under 4.8 and the Redeployment Procedure below.

1.6.4 Where the redundancy is due to the expiry of external funding, other than in exceptional circumstances, the selection of staff to be placed at risk of redundancy will be determined by their holding of a post which is established by the expiring funding. Efforts will be made to re-deploy individuals in line with the Redeployment Procedure. A staged dismissal procedure will be followed:

  • the employee will be informed in writing of the proposed redundancy and the reasons
  • the employee will be invited to a consultation meeting to discuss the redundancy and redeployment opportunities
  • the employee will be informed of his/her right to appeal against the redundancy

1.7 Representation

Employees have the right to be accompanied by a work companion, who may be a fellow employee in the University, a locally accredited trade union representative, or an accredited official employed by a trade union. A trade union representative who is not an employed official must have been certified by their union as being competent to accompany a worker.

1.8 Notice of redundancy

Employees selected for redundancy will be informed in writing and given notice of their dismissal due to redundancy. As a minimum this will be the notice period to which they are contractually entitled.

1.9 Redundancy payments

Statutory redundancy compensation payments will be made to eligible staff. Employees who are dismissed on grounds of redundancy will be given the period of notice, or payment in lieu of notice, to which they are entitled under statutory legislation or their contracts of employment.

Staff will be entitled to payment in lieu for any leave entitlement which is untaken at the date of termination of the appointment; the calculation of entitlement will be based upon the proportion of the leave year at the date of termination of the appointment.