Review and Restructuring Policy

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1 Human Resources Review and Restructuring Policy Introduction The University has a responsibility to maintain and, wherever possible, enhance its efficiency, effectiveness and financial viability. The University seeks to achieve this aim by prudent forward planning, in order to achieve the University s purposes in terms of research and teaching and, in doing so, to protect, as far as is possible, the current and future employment of all categories of the University s staff. The University will, from time to time, review its requirements for academic, professional, general and support services in the light of its current and anticipated academic needs and to ensure that its available resources are applied appropriately. The University also recognises that circumstances outside the University s control, be they, inter alia, legislative, financial, educational or technological, may arise which necessitate a process of organisational restructuring. In certain circumstances restructuring may lead to a reduction in staffing levels. If circumstances arise whereby a reduction in staffing levels is recommended, the staff concerned will be identified as at risk of redundancy. The University will initiate a process of consultation with both the staff concerned and its recognised Trade Unions (as appropriate to the category or categories of staff concerned) with a view to avoiding wherever possible compulsory redundancy. Where this proves unavoidable, the University will seek to minimise the effects of compulsory redundancy on the staff concerned. This paper sets out the general procedures to be followed: i. to review academic and support activities; ii. to recommend necessary reductions in staffing levels, and; iii. to meet the University s obligations in respect of consultation with staff at risk of redundancy. The University will always meet its obligations as defined in law to consult with staff and their representatives if redundancies are planned. In circumstances where potential redundancies are unforeseen and a speedy process is in the best interests of the University and the staff concerned, the University will follow the procedures set out in this policy only so far as is reasonably practicable and retains the right to adapt those procedures accordingly. University of Reading 2010 Page 1

2 Scope of the Policy This policy applies to all the University s staff with the exception of academic staff appointed before 20 th November 1987 and not promoted on or after that date. Procedural variances apply for those staff defined as academic for the purposes of Statute XXXIII. It is acknowledged that in the very unusual and specific occurrence of a general state of financial exigency the procedure described under Ordinance XXXVIII will apply. A separate procedure exists in respect of the non-renewal of fixed-term contracts at the expiry date of the individual contract. Definition of Redundancy For the purposes of this policy the definition of redundancy as contained within Section 139(1)(a)and(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 applies. Therefore an employee is deemed to be dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is attributable wholly or mainly to:..the fact that his/her employer has ceased, or intends to cease, to carry on the business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by him or has ceased, or intends to cease, to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or; the fact that the requirements of that business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where s/he was so employed, have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish. Consultation Section 188 of the Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, as amended by the Trade Union Reform & Employment Rights Act 1993, defines minimum periods for formal consultation with recognised Trade Unions should redundancies be planned. These minimum periods are: At least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect if between 20 and 99 employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 30 days or less At least 90 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 100 or more employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less University of Reading 2010 Page 2

3 Notwithstanding the statutory obligations described above the University, by virtue of this policy, will undertake formal consultation with its recognised Trade Unions, as appropriate, in any situation whereby staff defined as members of the academic staff for the purposes of Statute XXXIII are deemed to be at risk of redundancy. For other staff this policy will apply only if five or more employees are deemed to be at risk of redundancy. In all other circumstances every effort will be made to apply the procedures set out in this policy, but the University reserves the right to vary the procedures to best meet the circumstances at the time. Both good practice and statutory obligation dictate that redundancy consultation must be entered into with a view to reaching agreement as to the most reasonable course of action appropriate to the relevant circumstances. Bearing this in mind, consultation between the University and its recognised Trade Unions in any potential redundancy scenario will normally include the disclosure to the relevant Union(s) of the following: A description of the reason(s) for the potential redundancies The numbers and descriptions of the employees likely to be involved and thus at risk of redundancy The total number of employees of any such description employed at the University The proposed method of selection for redundancy, if appropriate The timescale for implementing the redundancies The formula for determining severance payment Additionally, the University will inform the relevant Union(s) as to: The time allowed to make representations on behalf of members How the University will consider and respond to any such representations The reasons, if any, for rejecting such representations and will ensure that the Union(s) involved have sufficient time in which to seek the views of members and make a reasoned response on their behalf. Avoiding or Minimising Compulsory Redundancy It will always be the University s primary intention to seek to avoid or minimise compulsory redundancy. This will be achieved, wherever practicable and affordable, by adopting the following methods: Natural wastage, i.e. via resignations and retirements for age and ill-health Where practicable restricting the external recruitment of permanent staff and encouraging the competitive filling of posts with existing members of staff The redeployment of staff to vacancies which may exist elsewhere in the University, with provision for retraining and trial periods as necessary The reduction or elimination of overtime The voluntary introduction of reduced hours of work and pay The encouragement of job-sharing opportunities University of Reading 2010 Page 3

4 The offer of premature retirement and/or voluntary redundancy or other severance arrangements The termination or reduction in the use of temporary contracts and agency staff The above list is not exhaustive and the University will, as part of its consultations with the recognised Trade Unions and staff, consider such other proposals aimed at avoiding compulsory redundancy as may be submitted by Trade Union representatives or staff. University of Reading 2010 Page 4

5 Stage 1 Review The University will, from time to time, review its requirements for academic, professional, general and support services in the light of its current and anticipated academic needs and to ensure that its available resources are applied appropriately. The University also recognises that circumstances outside the University s control, be they, inter alia, legislative, financial, educational or technological, may arise which necessitate a process of organisational restructuring. In certain circumstances restructuring may lead to a reduction in staffing levels. The University s Senior Management Board (SMB) is the primary body for commissioning, conducting and receiving reviews of the University s academic and support activities. Activities may be reviewed for one or several of the following reasons; the list is not exhaustive: 1. Financial viability, based on a suite of indicators. 2. Value for money. 3. Quality measures, e.g. prolonged adverse student feedback. 4. Declining student applications in a given area. 5. Pre-RAE planning. 6. Post-RAE responses. 7. Changes to funding mechanisms. 8. Technological change. 9. Legislative change. 10. New government policy. 11. Adverse staffing profiles. 12. Changing corporate strategic needs. Should the SMB wish to initiate a review of an activity, for any of the reasons listed above or others as appropriate, it will normally establish a Review Group to report back to SMB with appropriate recommendations. The membership of a Review Group will normally be: A Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Chair) A Dean or Head of Directorate (as appropriate) A third member of the senior academic staff (or equivalent) not a part of the unit immediately under review Other members may be co-opted as appropriate. Secretarial support will be provided from the appropriate support services. The terms of reference will be as determined by the SMB. There will be a normal expectation that the Review Group will enter into broad and appropriate discussions prior to arriving at final recommendations. Whilst there is no expectation that the Review Group will consult with individual staff associated with the activity under review at the point of conducting broad and appropriate discussions, there is a requirement for all members of a unit under review to be informed of the fact of that review either by the head of the unit or by the immediate line manager of the head of the unit. University of Reading 2010 Page 5

6 In exceptional and urgent circumstances the SMB may consider recommendations in respect of an activity from an individual officer rather than from a properly constituted Review Group. In such circumstances the SMB may determine: i. to accept the recommendations without further review and initiate appropriate action; ii. to seek further and better information from the appropriate officer prior to accepting recommendations, or; iii. to establish a Review Group as described above to conduct a comprehensive review. Reports arising from reviews of activities should, where appropriate, identify clearly any staffing implications arising from recommendations, particularly where recommendations point to a diminution, restructuring or cessation of an activity. The Review Group or appropriate officer should consult with the Director of Human Resources in this respect. The SMB, on behalf of the University, reserves the right to take appropriate and expedient action should the circumstances demand and particularly if any delay might unduly affect the good-running of the University. University of Reading 2010 Page 6

7 Stage 2 Decisions The SMB will receive reports from Review Groups or appropriate officers that may point to a diminution, restructuring or cessation of an activity, all of which may result in staffing reductions. Where there are no members of the academic staff (as defined for the purposes of Statute XXXIII) concerned, the SMB will determine whether to support the recommendations, or a variation thereof, and initiate appropriate action to give effect to its decision. This may require the establishment of a Consultation Group (see Stage 3). If a review report contains recommendations that point to a reduction in the number of academic staff (as defined for the purposes of Statute XXXIII) the SMB is required to seek the authority of the Council, as the appropriate body, to give effect to its recommendations. Statute XXXIII applies where Council, as the appropriate body has:..decided that it is desirable that there should be a reduction in the academic staff: (a) of the University as a whole; or (b) of any faculty school department or other similar area of the University by way of redundancy. Where the Council has reached such a decision it will initiate appropriate action to give effect to its decision. This may require the establishment of a Restructuring Committee (see Stage 3). The recommendations and decisions of the SMB in respect of the possible diminution, restructuring or cessation of any activity will be fully recorded. In the normal course of events SMB business is reported to the Finance & General Purposes Committee and the Senate where matters may be debated and commented upon. In reaching any decision in respect of a possible reduction in the academic staff (as defined for the purposes of Statute XXXIII) by way of redundancy the Council will be mindful of, but not bound by, any resolution or other commentary from the Senate. Where decisions or recommendations made by the SMB may result in a reduction in staff numbers, possibly by way of redundancy, appropriate officers, normally the relevant Dean and Head of School, or equivalent, will be instructed to relay the decision or recommendation to the relevant staff as soon as practicable. In doing so the appropriate officers will stress that full and formal procedures will be initiated before any final decisions are reached. University of Reading 2010 Page 7

8 Stage 3 Consultation Part 1 Academic Staff The Council, as the appropriate body, may determine from time to time that it is desirable that there should be a reduction in the academic staff (as defined for the purposes of Statute XXXIII) by way of redundancy. Where the Council has reached such a decision it will appoint a Restructuring Committee to give effect to its decision by such date as it may specify. The Restructuring Committee will comprise: (a) a Chairman; and (b) a member of the Council not being a person employed by the University; and (c) a member of the academic staff nominated by the Senate. For the purposes of this policy the Council will appoint additional members as follows 1 : (a) A Pro-Vice-Chancellor; and (b) The relevant Dean or Head of Directorate (as appropriate); and (c) The relevant Head of School or equivalent officer; and (d) The Director of Human Resources (or nominee). No individual who has been identified as being at risk of redundancy may serve on a Restructuring Committee and the membership will be varied accordingly by substitution with an officer of equivalent standing. For the purposes of this policy, the Restructuring Committee will consider the position of all staff, academic and non-academic, identified as being at risk of redundancy in any scenario involving academic staff defined as such for the purposes of Statute XXXIII. To ensure the University meets its statutory obligations the Restructuring Committee will engage in a meaningful process of consultation with the staff at risk of redundancy and the representatives of the relevant recognised trade unions. The Restructuring Committee will prepare a consultation paper containing the rationale for the proposed redundancies and other information appropriate for disclosure. The consultation paper will provide the framework for the consultation process. The key stages of the consultation process are as described in Appendix 1. Throughout the process of consultation the Restructuring Committee will be mindful of its obligation to avoid, where possible, the need for compulsory redundancy by means of redeployment of staff (Appendix 2) and voluntary severance arrangements (Appendix 3). Practical support will be offered to the staff at risk of redundancy as appropriate (Appendix 4). Should it be necessary to select staff for redundancy from amongst a pool of staff the 1 For reasons of continuity additional members will be drawn, in so far as is practicable, from the relevant Review Group as may have been established previously by the SMB. University of Reading 2010 Page 8

9 Restructuring Committee will ensure that selection criteria adopted are equitable and transparent (Appendix 5). Staff from the University s Human Resources Office will be available to provide further assistance to the Restructuring Committee. Following an appropriate period of consultation, the duration of which will be that deemed sufficient to discharge the Restructuring Committee s obligations, the Restructuring Committee will then report its recommendations to the appropriate body, including the requisite members of the academic staff, and others as appropriate, for dismissal by reason of redundancy. The Council, as the appropriate body, having approved the Restructuring Committee s recommendations, will authorise an officer of the University (normally the Director of Human Resources) as its delegate to dismiss the staff so selected. In doing so the authorised officer will confirm in writing to each member of staff concerned: i. a summary of the action taken by the appropriate body; and ii. an account of the selection processes used by the Restructuring Committee; and iii. a statement as to when the intended dismissal is to take place; and iv. details of any severance payment and how that was calculated; and v. a reference to the rights of the person notified to appeal against the notice and to the time within which any such appeal is to be lodged. For Academic staff (as defined for the purposes of Statute XXXIII) the procedure for appeals is contained within Statute XXXIII, Part V (Appeals). Part 2 Non-Academic Staff The SMB, following a review of an activity carried out on its behalf by a Review Group or brought to its attention by an appropriate officer, will determine whether it agrees to the diminution, restructuring or cessation of that activity. Providing no academic staff (as defined for the purposes of Statute XXXIII) are included within any group of staff identified as at risk of redundancy, the SMB may act without further authority. For the purposes of this policy the SMB will establish a Consultation Group to give effect to its decision, comprising 2 : (a) A Pro-Vice-Chancellor; and (b) The relevant Dean or Head of Directorate (as appropriate); and (c) The relevant Head of School or equivalent officer; and (d) The Director of Human Resources (or nominee). No individual who has been identified as being at risk of redundancy may serve on a Consultation Group and the membership will be varied accordingly by substitution with an officer of equivalent standing. To ensure the University meets its statutory obligations the Consultation Group will engage in a meaningful process of consultation with the staff at risk of redundancy and the representatives of the relevant recognised trade unions. The Consultation Group will prepare a consultation paper containing the rationale for the proposed redundancies and other 2 For reasons of continuity members will be drawn, in so far as is practicable, from the relevant Review Group as may have been established previously by the SMB. University of Reading 2010 Page 9

10 information appropriate for disclosure. The consultation paper will provide the framework for the consultation process. The key stages of the consultation process are as described in Appendix 1. Throughout the process of consultation the Consultation Group will be mindful of its obligation to avoid, where possible, the need for compulsory redundancy by means of redeployment of staff (Appendix 2) and voluntary severance arrangements (Appendix 3). Practical support will be offered to the staff at risk of redundancy as appropriate (Appendix 4). Should it be necessary to select staff for redundancy from amongst a pool of staff the Consultation Group will ensure that selection criteria adopted are equitable and transparent (Appendix 5). Staff from the University s Human Resources Office will be available to provide further assistance to the Consultation Group. Following an appropriate period of consultation, the duration of which will be that deemed sufficient to discharge the Consultation Group s obligations, the Director of Human Resources, acting on behalf of the Consultation Group, will take appropriate action to terminate the employment of the staff concerned. In doing so the authorised officer will confirm in writing to each member of staff concerned: i. a summary of the action taken by the Consultation Group; and ii. an account of the selection processes used by the Consultation Group; and iii. a statement as to when the intended dismissal is to take place; and iv. details of any severance payment and how that was calculated; and v. a reference to the rights of the person notified to appeal against the notice and to the time within which any such appeal is to be lodged. Statements of appeal must be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources in writing within 14 days of the date of the letter confirming their selection for dismissal by reason of redundancy. Appellants may attach any further documents or statements as deemed necessary to support their appeal. Appeals from individuals who feel that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy will be considered by a committee comprising three members of Council including a lay member who will act as Chair. The Director of Human Resources will provide the committee with all the relevant documentation associated with the decision to select the appellant for dismissal by reason of redundancy. The committee reserves the right to interview members of the Consultation Group and/or the appellant prior to making a decision. The committee s decision is final. University of Reading 2010 Page 10

11 The Consultation Process Appendix 1 The consultation process will normally proceed in the following way: 1. The Consultation Group or Restructuring Committee will hold a preliminary meeting to confirm an agreed version of the consultation paper 3, discuss and agree roles and responsibilities and determine an indicative timetable for the consultation process. 2. A preliminary meeting with all staff at risk of redundancy will be held at which their trade union representatives will be invited to attend. At risk staff will be presented with a copy of the consultation paper 4. The members of the Consultation Group or Restructuring Committee will present the proposals contained within the consultation paper, confirm the process to be followed and take preliminary questions from the at risk staff and their representatives. 3. Following the meeting the Director of Human Resources will confirm at risk status in writing. 4. Formal consultative meetings will be held with representatives of the recognised trade unions appropriate to each category of staff. Two or more members of the Consultation Group or the Restructuring Committee will conduct the meetings. 5. Individual members of staff will be offered the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Consultation Group or Restructuring Committee. Individual members of staff will be entitled, if they so wish, to be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative at any such meeting. 6. Further collective and individual meetings will be scheduled as necessary to ensure that the consultation process is meaningful. 7. There will be a final meeting of the Consultation Group or Restructuring Committee to finalise recommendations and take formal action as appropriate. 3 The Consultation Paper provides the framework within which consultation will be conducted and does not, in any sense, represent the outcome of the consultation. 4 In certain circumstances the consultation paper may be distributed prior to the preliminary meeting; this is at the discretion of the Consultation Group or Restructuring Committee. University of Reading 2010 Page 11

12 Redeployment Appendix 2 Where there is a possibility of redundancy the University is obliged to consider if the person(s) at risk of redundancy might be redeployed to suitable alternative employment within the University. Although redeployment cannot be guaranteed the University should make every reasonable effort to assist at risk staff identify and apply for redeployment opportunities, if they so wish. Suitability for alternative employment will be assessed in the light of qualifications, experience and transferable skills of the relevant member of staff. Redeployment would normally be to a post of similar category and grade. However, if redeployment is agreed to a post at a lower grade the employee s salary may be protected (though not necessarily in perpetuity). The specific details of the protection would be the subject of individual consideration and require the authorisation of the Vice-Chancellor or his nominee. The redeployment process will be facilitated by the Human Resources Office. At risk staff will be invited to join the job-seeker s register maintained by the Human Resources Office. Details of such staff (normally a CV and personal statement) will be held by Human Resources and distributed to the appropriate Head of School or equivalent as and when potentially suitable vacancies arise. The Head of School or equivalent will be invited to scrutinise details of the staff concerned and indicate to the Human Resources Office his or her willingness to consider possible redeployment. A formal interview will be required and the Human Resources Office will co-ordinate the process. There is no guarantee of automatic redeployment, although receiving Schools and other relevant areas should, reasonably, support the University s policy of seeking to avoid compulsory redundancy. Employees registered for redeployment will also receive regular details of all vacancies, be encouraged to view the jobs vacancies page on the University web-site and may apply for any vacancy they consider suitable; their status as a potential redeployee should be highlighted on the application. Where alternative posts are found there will be a minimum trial period of four weeks in the alternative post to assess mutual suitability. This period can be extended by mutual agreement to cover a realistic time-scale for any necessary retraining. Members of staff who decide that the alternative post is not suitable on reasonable grounds will retain their right to a redundancy payment. However should an employee unreasonably refuse an offer of suitable alternative employment they may lose their right to statutory redundancy pay, although each case will be examined on its merits. If the individual proves unsuitable on reasonable grounds attempts to find further alternative employment will be made, where practicable. Where a proposal exists for retraining for an appropriate employee, and the associated costs are reasonable in the circumstances, that retraining will be given to enable a member of staff to move into an area of work within the University not fully covered by their original training or recent experience. Whilst every reasonable effort practicable will be made to redeploy at risk staff this may prove untenable either due to lack of suitable vacancies or individual incompatibility. University of Reading 2010 Page 12

13 Appendix 3 Voluntary Severance Arrangements Redundancy payments are calculated in accordance with a statutory formula, based on the age and length of continuous service of the individual(s) concerned. In seeking to avoid the need for compulsory redundancy the University, during any formal consultation process, may offer at risk staff an enhanced voluntary redundancy payment. The detail of any such offer will be the subject of negotiation with staff and their representatives, but might include: i. removal of the statutory cap for the purposes of calculating a week s wage, i.e. actual pay. ii. a further enhancement of the statutory payment calculated in accordance with an agreed formula. iii. a guaranteed minimum payment. iv. an additional lump sum payment. The University might also consider offering an enhanced early retirement package. Some modest re-engagement for a finite period and for a specific purpose might also be available. All voluntary severance arrangements are entirely at the University s discretion. If an individual is in receipt of a severance payment, details of how that was calculated will be included with the formal notice of the termination of employment. University of Reading 2010 Page 13

14 Appendix 4 Practical support for staff Throughout the consultation process the Director of Human Resources will facilitate the various support mechanisms available to staff at risk of redundancy. At risk staff will be invited to join the job-seekers register. Maintained by the Human Resources Office the jobseekers register will seek to match staff at risk of or facing redundancy with suitable opportunities for redeployment. Further details of the redeployment process are contained in Appendix 2. Throughout the process of consultation and subsequent notice periods staff can receive guidance and counselling on a variety of issues from a number of sources, e.g. The Human Resources Office will offer assistance with the drafting of CVs, completing job applications and preparing for interviews where requested. Staff facing redundancy will be given access to the Centre for Staff Training and Development (CSTD) programme of events and, wherever practicable, given priority access to any courses or events they may be interested in. The CSTD will facilitate, if required, bespoke events designed to assist those staff facing redundancy. Mindful of the difficulties encountered by staff facing redundancy they will be advised of the assistance available via the University Counselling Service. In accordance with statutory rights the staff affected will be allowed reasonable time-off to seek alternative employment. Those staff nearing retirement age or taking voluntary early retirement will be provided with appropriate information and advice on pensions matters. The University will be receptive to, within reason and mindful of available resources, requests for further assistance from individual employees or their representatives. University of Reading 2010 Page 14

15 Appendix 5 Selection Criteria In the case of the complete cessation of an activity all those involved in the activity will face redundancy. However, in many redundancy scenarios a reduction in the number of staff involved in the activity is required and this will involve invariably a degree of selection. Staff dismissed by reason of redundancy may feel they have been unfairly selected for redundancy. It is possible that they may seek redress via the employment tribunal system. It is imperative therefore that when faced with the prospect of having to select staff for redundancy, the agreed selection criteria are fair and objective and are applied consistently. Selection on certain grounds is automatically unfair; those grounds include an employee s trade union activities, trade union membership or non-membership, their pregnancy or childbirth, or their assertion of a statutory right. The University s position on equal opportunities will apply throughout. The following list is not exhaustive but acts as examples of fair and objective selection criteria: Skills and aptitudes Experience Job Knowledge Qualifications/training Efficiency Attendance Timekeeping Disciplinary record (only current warnings will be taken into account) In selecting staff for redundancy the need to maintain a balanced workforce and maintain or improve the University s position of academic excellence will be paramount. It may be useful to prioritise or weight the agreed selection criteria appropriately. In any redundancy selection scenario the criteria must be agreed via the consultative process. Full records must be kept demonstrating decisions made in applying selection criteria to the pool of staff at risk of redundancy. University of Reading 2010 Page 15

16 Appendix 6 Redundancy Consultation Process Summary 1. From time to time the University s Senior Management Board (SMB) will initiate and receive reviews of units and activities. Such reviews may identify potential redundancies within the University s workforce. Although the University will always seek to avoid compulsory redundancy, this cannot be guaranteed. Where staff are identified as being at risk 5 of redundancy a formal process of consultation with the staff concerned and representatives of the appropriate trade unions will be initiated. 2. Reviews of units or activities will generally be conducted by a Review Group established by the SMB. All members of a unit under review will be informed at the outset of the fact of that review. 3. The SMB, following the report of any Review Group, will initiate appropriate action should a need for a reduction in staff numbers be identified. The precise action to be taken is determined by the presence, or otherwise, of members of the academic staff, as defined for the purposes of Statute XXXIII, within the unit under review. In such cases the SMB will recommend that the Council establish a Restructuring Committee to conduct consultation with all the staff affected by the review proposals. In all other circumstances the SMB will establish a Consultation Group to conduct appropriate consultation. 4. A consultation paper will be drafted by the Restructuring Committee or Consultation Group (as appropriate). The consultation paper provides the framework within which consultation will be conducted and does not, in any sense, represent the outcome of consultation. 5. During any process of consultation there will be a series of meetings held with the staff affected by proposals, collectively and individually and also with representatives of the relevant recognised trade unions. The purpose of these meetings will be to explain the reasons for any proposed redundancies, to provide an opportunity to present alternatives views on proposals and to explore ways in which compulsory redundancies might be avoided. 6. Following the period of consultation, the Restructuring Committee or Consultation Group will make recommendations, if necessary, in respect of those staff to be given notice of redundancy to the appropriate body. An officer of the University will then be authorised to confirm notice of redundancy to the staff concerned formally; any letter of notice in such circumstances will contain details of the appropriate appeals process. 7. During any process of consultation and subsequent notice periods, individual staff will be offered practical support and assistance, particularly in respect of identifying alternative employment opportunities; this will be facilitated by staff from the University s Human Resources Office. 5 Employees are defined as being at risk of redundancy where a necessary reduction in staff numbers has been identified and formal consultation is underway, but no final decisions have been reached and notices of redundancy have not yet been issued. University of Reading 2010 Page 16

17 Appendix 7 Frequently-asked questions The following frequently-asked questions and answers will be provided, in the early stages of the consultation process, to staff identified as being at risk of redundancy. Employees are defined as being at risk of redundancy where a reduction in staff numbers has been identified as necessary and formal consultation is underway, but no final decisions have been reached and notices of redundancy have not yet been issued. If I am given notice of redundancy will I qualify for a redundancy payment? If you have at least two years continuous service with the University you are entitled, as a minimum, to a statutory redundancy payment. How is redundancy pay calculated? Redundancy pay is calculated using a formula that relates to your length of service with the University and your age at the time of the redundancy. Briefly, you will receive a sum equivalent to half a week s pay for each year of service at age 21 and under, one week s pay for each year of service at age 22 but under 41, and one and a half weeks pay for each year of service at age 41 or over. If you are made redundant you will receive information detailing precisely how any redundancy payment was calculated. What is a week s pay? A week s pay is that which the employee is entitled to under his or her contract of employment at the date upon which you are given notice of redundancy. There is a maximum statutory limit of 380 on the amount of a week s pay that may be reckoned. However, during the consultation process it is possible, but not guaranteed, that a redundancy settlement in excess of the statutory may be negotiated. Am I entitled to a redundancy payment if I work only a few hours per week? It does not matter how many hours per week you work so long as you meet the service requirements relevant to redundancy payments. What are the tax and national insurance implications with redundancy payments? The first 30,000 of any redundancy payment is generally tax and NI free. If I have worked elsewhere in the University will this service count towards my redundancy payment? If your service with the University, in whatever capacity, has been continuous (i.e. you have not had any breaks in your service), and you have not previously received a redundancy University of Reading 2010 Page 17

18 payment from the University, then your entire service with the University will count towards the calculation of our redundancy payment. If I wish to volunteer for redundancy will I have to work out my notice period? The University will be as flexible as possible in making such arrangements but each case will have to be considered on its individual merit. While I am at risk of redundancy will there be any practical help available to me to help me find alternative employment? For staff at risk of redundancy the University will do all it can to seek alternative employment. Where alternatives are found reasonable re-training will be arranged, if required. Staff from the Human Resources Office will be available to assist with job applications etc. and will provide any general advice that individuals may require. If I am offered another job will I still receive a redundancy payment? If you are redeployed, i.e. we are successful in finding you alternative employment within the University, you will not be redundant and therefore will not qualify for a redundancy payment. If during your period of notice of the termination of employment for reason of redundancy you are offered a position with an external employer you will still be entitled to redundancy compensation from the University. Can someone be re-employed by the University after having been made redundant by the University and having received a redundancy payment? In the case of a person receiving a redundancy payment it is generally considered good practice to allow a break in service prior to re-employment of at least one month. However, in general, there is no reason to suggest that being made redundant from the University will prevent you from being re-employed by the University at some future date. While I am at risk of redundancy am I allowed time off to look for other work? Yes, during the consultation process and any subsequent period of notice you will be allowed reasonable time-off to seek alternative employment, i.e. by attending job interviews etc. Such time-off will normally be paid. If I am not a member of a trade union how will my views be represented through the consultation process? The University will consult formally with its recognised trade unions in respect of all the staff affected by the proposed redundancies. Furthermore, we will arrange to meet with you individually to discuss your particular concerns and requirements in respect of possible redundancy. At any individual meeting you will, of course, be entitled to be accompanied, if you so wish, by a trade union representative or a colleague. University of Reading 2010 Page 18

19 If I need information about my pension what should I do? Contact the Pensions Officer in the first instance. If you are a member of USS you should know that estimates of pension entitlements can take some time to process, so please ask in good time. If you need any further information please contact John Brady, the Director of Human Resources, at or by telephone on extension Alternatively, you may seek advice from your trade union representative. University of Reading 2010 Page 19