Redundancy Policy Introduction

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1 Redundancy Policy 1. Introduction The University of Nottingham is committed to ensure as far as possible security of employment for its employees. However, it is recognised that occasionally a post or group of posts may be considered to be redundant by the University. The University will seek to minimise the effect of redundancies through the provision of sufficient time and effort to finding alternative employment for potentially redundant staff and would always hope, as far as possible, to achieve such redundancies by voluntary means or by natural wastage. Where compulsory redundancy is inevitable the University will handle the redundancy in the most fair, consistent and sympathetic manner possible and minimise as far as possible any hardship that may be suffered by the employees concerned. This policy outlines the procedure that would apply in cases of redundancy. It should be read in conjunction with the University policies on redeployment and the University redundancy scheme, which can be found at: The University values the diversity of its people and is committed to promoting equal opportunities and eliminating discrimination. Therefore staff will apply and operate this policy fairly and in doing so ensure that there is no discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, disability, age, religious or political belief, sexual orientation, trade union membership/activity or marital status. 2. Scope 2.1 The policy applies to all University employees. 3. Consultation 3.1 Collective Consultation: where it is being contemplated that 20 or more staff may be dismissed by reason of redundancy (as well as for certain other reasons) there is duty to consult collectively with the recognised trade union. Under UK law, where staff may be at risk of dismissal there is a duty to consult for a minimum of 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect (i.e. date of termination); OR Where 100 or more dismissals are being contemplated, there is a duty to consult for a minimum of 45 days before the first termination takes effect. Where European case law requires, meaningful collective consultation must have been completed before notice can be issued, and therefore timescales must be extended where consultation has not been completed within the relevant statutory minimum period as above. Where it is appropriate in the circumstances and taking into account relevant factors, such as the complexity of the proposals, the number of staff affected, any critical timing for achievement of the restructuring or business need, the University may extend the consultation period. 3.2 In cases where statutory consultation is not required, the University will consult representatives of any relevant, recognised trade unions and this may be concurrent with consultation with individuals. The method of communication will be appropriate to the Redundancy Policy 1

2 circumstances and may take the form of , telephone conversation, letter, meeting or through the redundancy consultation group described in The purpose of consultation is to provide as early an opportunity as possible for all concerned to share the problem and explore the options. It can stimulate better cooperation between managers and employees, reduce uncertainty and lead to better decision making. The consultation process should involve consideration of alternative proposals with a view to reaching agreement on ways of avoiding dismissals, reducing the number of employees to be dismissed and how to mitigate the effect of the dismissals. 3.4 The following information needs to be supplied in writing to the appropriate employee representatives for the purposes of collective consultation: the reasons for the proposals; the numbers and descriptions of employees it is proposed to dismiss as redundant; the total number of employees of any such description employed at the establishment (i.e. the redundancy pool); the method proposed for selecting employees to be dismissed including any agreed procedures and timescales for the dismissals; the proposed method of calculating redundancy payments. 3.5 Additional matters which may be consulted upon will usually cover: the effect of earnings where transfer or downgrading is accepted in preference to redundancy; how the selection of employees for redundancy will be applied, for example, organisational or departmental basis; arrangements for reasonable time off with pay to seek alternative work or to make arrangements for training; assistance with job seeking; any extension of the length of the statutory trial period in a new job. 3.6 In the case of organisational restructure resulting in redundancy, consultation arrangements will be set up at the time and will include representation from the relevant trade unions, the School/Department affected and Human Resources. 3.7 There are many redundancy situations which occur at the University which are not part of an organisational restructure, such as the expiry of a fixed-term contract or the end of funding for a small number of posts. The number of these ad-hoc redundancies occurring across the University is likely to trigger the need for collective consultation. A standing redundancy consultation group consisting of University and union representatives will meet quarterly for the purposes of consultation regarding these ad-hoc redundancy situations. 3.8 Individuals to be made redundant should be consulted, even if collective consultation is required. Employees should be made aware of the redundancy procedure, his/her right to representation as described in 9.1 and the opportunities available for making written and oral representations on his/her behalf. In cases of organisational restructure resulting in redundancy, consultation with employees should commence shortly after the initial collective consultation meeting. In ad-hoc redundancy situations, the individual(s) affected should be consulted as soon as the situation becomes apparent and the employees are identified as at risk of redundancy. Redundancy Policy 2

3 4. Measures to Avoid or Minimise Redundancy 4.1 Measures to avoid or minimise redundancy should always be sought. Such measures may include: natural wastage; restrictions on recruitment; retraining and redeployment; reduction or elimination of overtime; retiring employees where the University has justified a retirement age; filling vacancies from among existing employees; reducing the hours of work; seeking applicants for early retirement or voluntary redundancy; terminating the engagement of agency staff. 4.2 In considering 4.1 where a redundancy situation has been announced and individuals declared at risk, the University will usually invite individuals to volunteer for redundancy as a way of mitigating the number of compulsory redundancy dismissals. In these instances the terms of the University s Redundancy Scheme will apply. However, for the avoidance of doubt, the University also operates a voluntary severance scheme under which employees may receive a payment in return for their resignation. This scheme does not apply in cases of redundancy. Further details are available from Human Resources. 5. Selection Criteria 5.1 Where a redundancy situation has been announced and individuals declared at risk, the University will usually invite individuals to volunteer for redundancy as a way of mitigating the number of compulsory redundancy dismissals. In these instances the University s Redundancy Scheme will apply. 5.2 The first stage in carrying out a redundancy exercise, regardless of the number of posts to be made redundant, is to identify the pool of employees from which the candidates for redundancy will be selected. Care must be taken to ensure that the correct pool is identified and advice should be taken from the Human Resources Adviser. 5.3 Where there is more than one employee in the pool, objective criteria, precisely defined and capable of being applied in an independent way, should be used when determining which employees are to be selected for redundancy. The Human Resources Adviser and relevant trade union(s) should be consulted on the selection criteria to be used. 5.4 The purpose of having objective criteria is to ensure that employees are not unfairly selected for redundancy. In considering the criteria for selection, it is important to ensure that the balance of skills and experience within the remaining workforce is appropriate to the University s future operating needs. Examples of such criteria are: the skills, experience and aptitude of the employee; the standard of work performance; the attendance record and/or disciplinary record (current offences) of the employee. The chosen criteria must be consistently applied and there must be objective evidence to support selection on any basis. It is advisable to follow a points-based scoring system based on the selection criteria. 5.5 Particular care should be taken to ensure that selection criteria are not directly or indirectly discriminatory on grounds of age, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. For example, before selecting on the basis of attendance, it is important Redundancy Policy 3

4 to know the reasons for and extent of any absences. The duration of spells of sickness should be looked at carefully and any absence relating directly to a condition protected under the Equality Act 2010 should be discounted. Similarly, any absence relating directly to pregnancy or time off for dependants should be disregarded. 5.6 Employees should be informed of the criteria being used in the specific case, how it will be applied and by whom. Where employees are selected for redundancy through a scoring matrix, they will be provided with details of their score prior to the issuing of notice. 6. Alternative Employment The University should consider whether employees likely to be affected by the redundancy can be offered suitable alternative work. Where alternative work is available, the employee should be given sufficient details to enable him or her to decide whether to accept or not, see Redeployment Policy at: 7. Assistance with Job Seeking 7.1 An employee with two years continuous employment, who is given notice of dismissal because of redundancy, is entitled to reasonable time off during working hours to look for another job or make arrangements for training for future employment. The time off must be allowed during the notice period. 7.2 Under statutory provisions, in total, an employee can receive up to two-fifths of a week s pay (or the pro-rata equivalent for part-time staff) for time taken off for assistance with job seeking. Additional time off may be allowed in accordance with 7.1. Whilst this may be paid or unpaid as appropriate to the individual case, additional time off would normally be paid, thus managers should discuss any cases of unpaid additional time off with their Human Resources Adviser. 7.3 The University should provide assistance to give those employees who are to be made redundant: guidance on how to find another job; advice on completion of application forms; guidance on attending interviews. 8. Redundancy Payments 8.1 Redundancy payments will be awarded in line with the University Redundancy Scheme. For further details, please see: Continuous service for the purpose of redundancy relates to service with The University of Nottingham and recognised service under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 and any subsequent amendments only. 9. Dismissal Process 9.1 It is good practice to allow an individual an opportunity to meet with the manager who is responsible for making the decision to dismiss them so that they can discuss the reasons for the dismissal. If they decide to attend the meeting, the employee shall be entitled to be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or official (certified by a relevant trade union to act in the capacity of 'companion' under Section 10 (3) of the Employment Redundancy Policy 4

5 Relations Act 1999) or a work colleague of his/her choice. Human Resources should be consulted in all cases. Employees selected for redundancy will also be offered an opportunity to appeal against the decision. 9.2 An employee is entitled to notice in accordance with their contract of employment. 10. Appeals 10.1 Any member of staff may appeal against the decision to make them redundant The appeal will be heard by the Head of School/Department or a Senior Manager who has had no prior involvement with the case, normally within 4 weeks of receipt of the appeal. A Human Resources representative will be present At the appeal hearing, the member of staff shall be entitled to be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or official (certified by a relevant trade union to act in the capacity of 'companion' under Section 10 (3) of the Employment Relations Act 1999) or a work colleague of his/her choice The employee will receive the appeal decision, which is final, in writing. 11. Review 11.1 This policy will be subject to review by April 2016 (3 years from Council approval) This procedure has been agreed by the recognised trade unions (at present UCU, Unison and Unite) under the Collective Bargaining process as described in the Recognition Agreements and Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 s178. Redundancy Policy 5

6 ADDITIONAL PROCEDURE This procedure applies to Academic Staff (Lecturer, Associate Professor, Reader & Professor including Clinical Staff) A1 A2 Where it is proposed to select academic members of staff for dismissal on the grounds of redundancy, the decision to terminate the academic member of staff s contract shall not be taken without prior authorisation from Council; Any request to Council under paragraph A1 will include the following information: the total number of redundancies proposed; the departments, institutes, research centres or other units within which it is proposed that the dismissals would take place ("the affected units"); the reason for the proposed redundancies; the categories or descriptions of staff at risk of dismissal for redundancy in the affected unit or units and the numbers of dismissals proposed in relation to each such category or description; the total numbers of staff employed in the affected unit of each such category or description; whether or not it is proposed to apply selection criteria to identify which members of staff should be dismissed on the grounds of redundancy and if so such details of the proposed selection criteria as are available at that time; the proposed timescale over which it is proposed that the redundancies would take place; A summary of the steps which have been taken to discharge the obligation to consult, collectively or individually, appropriate representatives of the affected members of staff and the affected staff individually, the feedback received and the outcome of those consultations, including whether or not agreement has been reached with the appropriate representatives on ways and means of avoiding the dismissals or reducing their numbers or mitigating the effect of the dismissals. A3 A4 A5 A6 All redundancy exercises will include, at an appropriate stage in the process, an invitation to the member or members of staff to a meeting with the Head of School/Department at which the reasons for the proposed redundancies will be further explained and the affected member or members of staff can make oral or written representations and discuss alternatives to the proposed redundancy or redundancies. The member of staff will be advised of his/her right to be accompanied. A further meeting or meetings (as appropriate) shall be arranged to discuss the representations made by the member or members of staff and respond to them and to further consider alternatives to the proposed redundancy. Following consideration of the representations made by the member of staff and the trade union representatives, (and, where required under paragraph A1, after approval has been obtained from Council) each affected member or members of staff will be informed separately in writing whether it has been decided to terminate his/her employment on the grounds of redundancy. The member of staff may be given notice of dismissal on the ground of redundancy or advised of a period of time within which the availability of alternative employment for the member of staff or other measures to avoid compulsory termination of employment on the grounds of redundancy shall be considered (or, as the case may be, continue to be considered) before notice of dismissal is served. The member of staff will be informed of any redundancy payments that will be made in the event that alternatives to termination of the member of staff's employment cannot be found. Where notice of dismissal is given, the member of staff will be advised of his/her right of appeal against dismissal and the applicable time limits for the making of such an appeal. Redundancy Policy 6

7 B B1 B2 B3 APPEALS A member of staff who wishes to appeal against a decision to make them redundant should do so in writing to the Director of Human Resources within five working days of receipt of the decision. The member of staff should set out the grounds of his/her appeal in full. No appeal is permitted against the decision of the Council under paragraph A1. The dismissing manager shall be asked to provide written comments on the grounds of appeal. A copy of these written comments will be provided to the member of staff in advance of the appeal hearing. The Appeal Panel, acting with the delegated authority of Council, will comprise persons nominated by the Registrar: (i) the Chair, who will be a Professorial member of the staff from a different Department to that of the Appellant; (i) a lay member of Council; (ii) a third member who will be selected from staff of Professorial status from a different Department to that of the Chairperson and the Appellant The panel will be supported by a member of Human Resources. The person whose decision is being appealed will also be present at the hearing. B4 No later than ten working days before the Appeal Hearing the member of staff shall be notified of: the date, time and place of the Appeal Hearing; his/her right to be accompanied at the Appeal Hearing; and so far as they are known at the time, the names of the person(s) to be present at the Appeal hearing. B5 B6 At the Appeal Hearing the member of staff shall present his/her grounds of appeal and the person who made the decision appealed against shall respond. The Appeal Chair/members of the Appeal Panel may question those present. After each side's case has been presented, the Appeal Chair will ask the member of staff and then the person who made the decision appealed against to sum up. The hearing will then be adjourned while the facts of the case and the representations made are considered and a decision is reached. The Appeal Chair/Panel shall produce a written decision normally within 10 working days of the Appeal Hearing which will be sent to the member of staff and his/her representative. The decision of the Appeal Panel shall be final. Redundancy Policy 7