South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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1 South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Document Version Control Document Type and Title: Authorised Document Folder: Redundancy Policy BLUE HRODE New or Replacing: Document Reference: New H/BLU/gh/13 Version No. v1.0 Implementation Date: Author: Approving body: Alyson Sargeant HRODE Sub Committee Approval Date: 30 th January 2013 Ratifying body: Board of Directors Ratified Date: 28 th February 2013 Committee, Group or Individual Monitoring the Document: HRODE Sub Committee Review Date: February 2016

2 CONTENTS 1. Introduction Page 3 2. Principles Page 3 3. Scope and Purpose Page 3 4. Responsibilities Page Related Trust Documents Page 4 6. Definition of Redundancy Page Alternative Action Page 5 8. Consultation Page Selection for Redundancy Page Suitable Alternative Employment Page Notice Page Help Packages Page Appeal Page Implementation Page Equality Impact Assessment Page Monitoring Compliance Page 9 2

3 1. INTRODUCTION The Trust recognises that its employees are its single most important asset and is committed to protecting the employment security of employees through effective workforce planning. There may, however, be some occasions such as changes to funding provision, the demand for services or the way they are delivered and/or a change in the demand at a national or local level which require major changes to staffing within the Trust. 2. PURPOSE The purpose of this policy is to outline the approach to be adopted in cases of potential redundancy and shall be applied with due regard to legislative provisions relating to redundancy. 3. PRINCIPLES In the event of redundancies being necessary, the principle aim of this policy is to ensure that such redundancies are handled in a fair, consistent and sympathetic manner, without any form of discrimination. Wherever possible employees and staff side representatives will be engaged prior to any public announcement being made. 4. SCOPE This Policy applies to all employees employed by the Trust, including those employed on a fixed term contract where the justification for ending, non renewal or non extension of the fixed term contract is that of redundancy rather than that of some other substantial reason. See paragraph 7.1 Fixed-Term Contracts below for further details. 5. RESPONSIBILITIES 5.1 Trust Board The Board has responsibility to oversee this policy and ensure that appropriate processes and actions are in place to avoid any unnecessary redundancies; in addition Executive Directors are responsible for ensuring that any redundancy payments are signed off in accordance with Standing Financial Instructions (SFI). 5.2 Divisional Directors The Divisional Directors are responsible for ensuring their service undertakes effective workforce planning in order to determine existing and future staffing needs and skill mix for their service, leading to the efficient use of the workforce, minimise the risk of job losses and providing greater job security. In cases where a redundancy occurs the Divisional Directors will be responsible for obtaining estimated redundancy payments from Payroll Services. 5.3 Human Resources, Organisational Development and Equalities Committee The HRODE Committee are responsible for ensuring that this policy is effectively and appropriately implemented and for ensuring that the processes within the policy are monitored and any non-compliance is acted upon. 3

4 5.4 Human Resources Department The Human Resources Department are responsible for ensuring the Redundancy Policy and selection criteria is applied in a fair, consistent objective and non-discriminatory manner, and for providing advice, support and guidance throughout the process. They are also responsible for keeping the re-deployment register up to date and work with line managers to ensure employees are made aware of vacancies. 5.5 Line Managers Undertake effective workforce planning in order to determine existing and future staffing needs for their service. Meeting and communicating with affected employees in accordance with formal redundancy procedure and providing informal support where required; working with Human Resources Department to ensure effective communication with employees around vacancies; ensure any offer of suitable alternative employment is provided in writing and the appropriate Payroll documentation is completed in a timely manner. 5.6 Staff Side Engage with the workforce planning cycle and monitor and engage with the need for changes in the size of the workforce and the implications of any measures designed to improve efficiency; ensure they are available throughout the process to support their members where requested. 5.7 All Staff Have responsibility for engaging with the process to ensure effective communication; responding in a timely manner to communications from Human Resources Department and/or their Line Manager; to undertake trial periods and give proper consideration to offers of suitable alternative employment; register with NHS jobs and take responsibility for seeking employment as part of the process. 6. RELATED TRUST DOCUMENTS This Policy should be read in conjunction with the following: Organisational Change Policy Re-deployment Policy Pay Protection Policy Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions Handbook Medical and Dental Whitley Handbook and the relevant Terms and Conditions of Service for Consultants, Associate Specialists and Specialty Doctor 7. DEFINITION OF REDUNDANCY Redundancy is defined in s.139 (i) of the Employment Rights Act The definition provides that an employee who is dismissed shall be taken to be dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to the following: The fact that the Trust has ceased or intends to cease to carry on the business for the purpose for which the employee was employed by the Trust, or 4

5 The fact that the Trust has ceased, or intends to cease to carry on the business in the place where the employee was so employed, or The fact that the requirements of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind have ceased, or diminished, or are expected to cease or diminish, or The fact that the requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employer have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish. 7.1 Fixed Term Contracts When a fixed-term contract comes to an end and is not renewed or extended, this constitutes a dismissal under English law. The reason for the dismissal will vary from case to case; however, the two main reasons for a dismissal of this sort will be redundancy, or some other substantial reason. The expiry of a fixed-term contract will normally be considered to be a redundancy if the work for which the employee was employed has diminished, or ceases to exist. This would cover projects, which have run their course, or where specifically funded work has come to an end due to an exhaustion of or non recurring of funding. In these cases, the employee may be entitled to a redundancy payment provided that they have a minimum of 104 weeks continuous service at the Trust at the date their employment ends. Employees who are employed to cover another employee s absence, and whose contract expires on the return of that employee would be deemed to have been dismissed for some other substantial reason and consequently this would not constitute a redundancy. In such cases the termination of a Fixed-Term Contract process should be followed and this would not attract a redundancy payment. 8. ALTERNATIVE ACTION The Trust will make every effort to avoid compulsory redundancy and will wherever possible use some or all of the following approaches, at the relevant time, and as appropriate to the situation: Placing restrictions on further recruitment of new employees (in similar areas) Non replacement of leavers where there is no clinical risk identified through the risk assessment Re-training and redeployment for affected employees where appropriate to fill essential vacancies Restriction in overtime working and/or additional hours worked In certain circumstances consideration may be given to inviting expressions of interest for early retirement and/or voluntary severance/redundancy. An expression of interest does not guarantee acceptance of the request by the Trust and the Trust reserves the right to refuse such applications Reduced usage of subcontract labour, agency workers and temporary employees in circumstances where there is no clinical risk identified by the risk assessment or where their usage is necessary prior to a closure situation or for special projects where specific skills or continuity are required Consideration of flexible working arrangements An agreed reduction in contractual working time 5

6 9. CONSULTATION Redundancy Policy/H/BLU/gh/13/v1.0 If after the consideration of these other alternatives, the Trust finds that there continues to be a need for redundancies; the Trust will provide written details of their proposals to staff side representatives. This proposal will include a provisional pool of affected staff taking into consideration the necessity to retain specific knowledge and skills and a balanced workforce to meet future service needs. The proposal will include the following information: The reasons for the proposed redundancies The number and description of the employees to be dismissed as redundant The total number of employees of each description employed The proposed selection criteria based on skills, experience, aptitude, job knowledge, qualifications/training, attendance, time-keeping, disciplinary record and any other factors to be determined locally and agreed in partnership with staff side Timescales The formulae for calculating redundancy payments 9.1 Collective Consultation As required by law where it is proposed to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment over a 90 day period or less, the following collective consultation procedure will be followed: The case (see section 9 above) will be provided to the Joint Staff Partnership Committee to commence the consultation process Consultation will take place with regard to employees who are potentially affected, and not just those who are at direct risk of redundancy The main purpose of the consultation meetings will be to inform employees of the situation, and the reasons for the potential redundancy, the criteria and method of application to be used, and to consider any suggestions for avoiding or reducing the number of compulsory redundancies and mitigating the effects of dismissals Notes from any consultation meetings will be confirmed in writing to members of the JSP and made available to the employees concerned Individual consultation will also take place as appropriate, in addition to the collective consultation process (see section 9.2 below) 9.2 Individual Consultation Where it is proposed to make less than 20 employees redundant then there is no legal requirement to undertake collective consultation. In situations where a single job ceases to exist then the post holder will normally be the redundant employee. 9.3 Principles of the Consultation The Trust recognises the importance of individual consultation with all employees who are at risk of redundancy and therefore the following principles are applicable to all cases, including where collective consultation has taken place: The case (see section 9 above) will be provided to the Joint Staff Partnership Committee to commence the consultation process Once an employee has been selected as being at risk of redundancy, they will be consulted individually regarding the situation. The main purpose of the consultation 6

7 meetings will be to inform employees of the situation, and the reasons for the potential redundancy, the criteria and method of application to be used, and to consider any suggestions for avoiding compulsory redundancies The employee will be given the opportunity to explain and discuss any areas of concern surrounding the selection criteria, such as periods of long-term absence or other individual difficulties, and may make representation on their proposed dismissal Individual consultation may include looking at the options available to the employee, such as applying for redeployment, and considering any training or development that may be appropriate. The Trust s aim is to avoid redundancies by offering alternative employment where possible and wherever practicable Individuals can agree to waive their right to continued consultation and notice but this should only take place once meaningful consultation has ended. This must be requested by the employee in writing, following which the Trust will write to the employee confirming that he/she is waiving his/her rights to further consultation and giving him/her an opportunity to reconsider his/her decision. This letter will also confirm details of the contractual notice period (i.e. will he/she be required to work, go on garden leave, etc.) and set out final details such as the effective date of termination and any payments to be made An employee has the right to be represented, if they wish, at any formal stage of the process by either a recognised Trade Union representative or a Trust employed work colleague 10. SELECTION FOR REDUNDANCY In situations where it becomes necessary to select individuals for redundancy, the Service Lead, in liaison with the Divisional Director and HR Business Partner, will consider the following: Where a single job ceases to exist, the job holder will normally be the redundant employee Where a number of posts are redundant or where it is proposed to reduce the number of posts in a situation where several employees carry out the same or similar jobs, then the employees whom it is proposed to make redundant will be identified from the appropriate pool by way of a selection process, based on specified criteria The redundancy exercise must be screened to ensure the criteria do not disproportionately impact on employees from a particular ethnic group. Selection criteria should be assessed to ensure that no protected group is disproportionately affected The selection criteria will be determined in consultation with the Joint Staff Partnership Consideration of the most appropriate parties to be involved in the selection process will be appropriate to each situation 11. SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYMENT A potential suitable alternative post will, in the first instance be at the same or lower band than the employee s substantive post. However, the following points would be taken into consideration: Status/profession Location Working environment Hours of work The employee s individual circumstances 7

8 Redundant employees who accept alternative employment with the Trust will be entitled to a four week trial period. Where the post is broadly similar to the employee s current post in terms of pay, banding, levels of responsibility, skill etc the post will likely be considered as a suitable alternative. If the employee subsequently does not accept this offer of a suitable alternative post then they may lose their entitlement to redundancy payment. Where an alternative post is offered to an employee, they may undertake their 4 week work trial period without affecting any entitlement they may have to redundancy compensation. The Re-Deployment Policy outlines the process to be undertaken to try to secure suitable alternative employment and ensure that the legal requirements under this are met; this policy should be referred to as part of this process. 12. NOTICE Where selection has been confirmed, those selected for redundancy will be given written notice of termination in accordance with contractual entitlements. Notice may be worked and paid as normal or the Trust may make a payment in lieu of notice for all or part of the notice period depending on the circumstances. Details of any redundancy payment and the right of appeal against their dismissal will be included in the letter. Employees meeting the NHS Pension criteria for early payment of their pension on being made redundant, will have a choice of options in terms of the payment they will receive. These employees will be required to complete a proforma attached to their letter and return it to Payroll Services as soon as possible in advance of their proposed leaving date. This will ensure that payments due are paid promptly if no alternative employment is found. Employees may be given notice of redundancy at the conclusion of the appropriate consultation period: After 30 days where it is proposed to make between 1 and 99 employees redundant After 90 days where it is proposed to make 100 or more employees redundant within a period of 90 days at one establishment (NB: collective consultation period reduces to 45 days with effect of 1 st April 2013 therefore notice may be served after this period) Redundancy payments will be paid in accordance with Section 16 of the Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook. 13. HELP PACKAGES Whenever an employee is identified at risk, a number of measures will be implemented to assist the individual, according to their needs, to make the transition. Advice and support may include one or more of the following: Reasonable paid time off to complete applications and to attend interviews Counselling Occupational Health and Wellbeing Help with CV s + Interview skills Liaising with neighbouring NHS and Partner Organisations to identify and suitable alternative employment 8

9 Subject to the Trusts operational requirements affected employees will be entitled to take time off work during their notice period to look for work or seek retraining opportunities. Requests for time off in the first instance should be made to their direct line manager. 14. APPEAL An employee who is given notice of dismissal due to redundancy has a right of appeal. The appeal should be lodged in writing within 10 working days following receipt of the notification of redundancy. The appeal should be made to the next level of management, setting out in detail the grounds for the appeal. An employee has the right to be represented, if they wish, at any formal stage of the process by either a recognised Trade Union representative or a Trust employed work colleague. 15. IMPLEMENTATION The policy will be implemented through dissemination to managers within the Trust. Communication to all staff on the new policy will be through Directorate DMT Reports. 16. EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT This policy has been Equality Impact Assessed, a copy of this may be obtained from the Trust website. 17. MONITOR COMPLIANCE This policy will be reviewed every two years or before if there are legislation changes. The monitoring of this policy includes an annual audit that comprises of the following table. Where non-compliance is identified an action plan will be drawn up and monitored at the HR&OD Committee. Where remedial action can be taken immediately, the action must be recorded appropriately. Aspect of compliance or effectiveness being monitored Duties Number of dismissals due to redundancy identified monthly in DMT Reports, HR FMT Report and HR and OD Sub Committee bimonthly HR Report Monitoring method Audit Committe e Meetings Individual or department responsible for the monitoring Human Resources Department Human Resources Department Frequency of the monitoring activity Annual Various Group/committe e/ forum which will receive the findings/monitori ng report HR&ODE Committee JSP HR&OD Committee FMT Committee/ individual responsible for ensuring that the actions are completed HR&ODE Committee HR&OD Committee 9