Redundancy procedure and guidelines

Effective from 1 May 2011

Redundancy procedure

  1. Application and scope
  2. General principles
  3. Measures to avoid or minimise redundancy
  4. Identification of potential redundancies
  5. Consultation
  6. Approval of Council
  7. Selection criteria and process
  8. Implementation of redundancies
  9. Redundancy payments
  10. Academic Freedom - Reference to Senior Academic Officer
  11. Appeals
  1. 1 Application and Scope

    1. 1.1 The University is committed to protecting the employment security of employees by appropriate planning. It will ensure that, as far as practicable, the overall and departmental planning and budget setting processes will take account of potential staffing implications and wherever possible avoid the need for redundancy. There may, however, be occasions when changes in funding provision, the demand for services, or organisational, technological or academic developments impact on staffing requirements. This procedure outlines the approach to be adopted in cases of potential redundancy and shall be applied with due regard to legislative provisions relating to redundancy1. It should be read in conjunction with the policy on redeployment and other relevant policies available on the University of York's Human Resources web pages.
    2. 1.2 This procedure applies to all employees employed by the University of York under a contract of employment with more than twelve months' continuous employment as at the proposed date of dismissal.
    3. 1.3 Nothing in this document shall preclude the University from seeking volunteers for redundancy or any employee from agreeing to voluntary severance at any stage of the procedure. Selection of volunteers for redundancy shall be at the discretion of the University and shall be determined by the University's requirements to retain key skills and experience to meet the present and anticipated needs of the University.
    4. 1.4 A potential redundancy situation arises in the following circumstances:
      • When the University has ceased or intends to cease, to carry on the business for which the employee was employed or has ceased or intends to cease to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed2 or
      • the requirements of the University 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 the employee was so employed, have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.
  2. 2 General Principles

    The following principles will apply to the application of this procedure:

    1. 2.1Collective Consultation - The University will undertake collective consultation with relevant recognised trade union(s) and their elected representatives, including, as appropriate, on the terms of any severance arrangements.
    2. 2.2 Right to be accompanied - All employees who are the subject of this procedure will have the right to be accompanied at any formal meeting held under the procedures by a trade union representative or work colleague.
    3. 2.3 Equality and Diversity - To ensure fair treatment and, where appropriate, provision of support by the University in the application of this procedure, employees should be invited to provide information about any equality or diversity issues which may be relevant.
    4. 2.4 Confidentiality - All parties involved in these procedures must ensure that they maintain, as appropriate, the confidentiality of the process within and outside the University.
    5. 2.5 Involvement of Human Resources - A member of the human resources team will be consulted and will advise on the formal process.
    6. 2.6 Appeals against dismissal - Any dismissal under this procedure will remain in force pending the outcome of any appeal.
  3. 3 Measures to avoid or minimise redundancy

    1. 3.1 The University is committed as an overall principle to retaining employees wherever possible and will seek to minimise redundancies by forward planning within the relevant area. Where redundancies are proposed due consideration will be given to ways of avoiding redundancy or reducing the numbers involved.
  4. 4 Identification of Potential Redundancies

    1. 4.1 The Vice Chancellor is the Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of the University and as such is responsible for maintaining and promoting efficiency across the University. In that capacity, s/he normally delegates to Senior Managers and Heads of Department responsibility for ensuring that staffing levels are consistent with service requirements and anticipated available funding. Where changes in service requirements affect more than one department or area of work the HoD (s) will, following discussion with a senior manager3, establish the impact on staffing numbers.
    2. 4.2 In cases where the Vice- Chancellor, a Senior Manager or a Head of Department has formed the view that there is a requirement to reduce staffing levels in a specific area of work or in a department s/he will establish the required reduction in staffing and the pool from which employees will be selected for dismissal by reason of redundancy. The pool will be defined by the nature of the work in relation to which the University's requirement for employees is (or will be) ceasing or reducing. In the case of very specialist work, the required staffing reduction may be limited to one individual or to a group of individuals carrying out the work.
    3. 4.3 For the avoidance of doubt, where paragraph 6.1 applies, the approval of Council is required before any proposed staffing reduction is implemented. Nothing in this paragraph affects the powers and functions of Council or Senate under the University's Charter and Statutes.
  5. 5 Consultation

  6. 5.1 Joint Consultative Forum
    1. 5.1.1 A consultative forum consisting of University and Trade Union representatives will hold minuted meetings on a regular basis to consider any prospective redundancies and ways of avoiding them.
    2. 5.1.2 The consultative forum will also undertake collective consultation as required by employment law.
    3. 5.1.3 The purpose of consultation is to seek ways of:
      • Avoiding the redundancy situation
      • Reducing the number of dismissals or
      • Mitigating the effects of the redundancies proposed.
    4. 5.1.4 The University will respond to any written submissions from the Trade Unions in this regard.
    5. 5.1.5 The University will, as appropriate, respond to requests for relevant additional information to aid the process of meaningful consultation. Equality impact assessments will be undertaken by the University as appropriate and the results of these will be made available as part of the consultation process.
    6. 5.1.6 The joint consultative forum will seek, wherever possible, to issue joint communications regarding the position reached in relation to redundancies covered by section 6 below.
  7. 5.2 Consultation with Individual Employees Where a potential redundancy situation is identified, consultation will be carried out with the individual employees affected on an informal basis4. In any event, in all cases of potential redundancies, formal consultation will take place with the individuals affected for a minimum period of thirty days.
  8. 6 Approval of Council

    1. 6.1 The approval of Council will be required where it is proposed to make redundant, within a thirty day period ten or more FTE employees within a department or 10% of the total full time equivalent (FTE) of employees within a department as part of a restructuring or single exercise involving a significant change in service provision. Council may approve the recommendation(s) of the person(s) who under paragraph 4.2 established the relevant staffing reduction and the relevant pool or may remit them for further consideration. Council will need to approve the proposed reduction in staffing before any redundancy is effected.
    2. 6.2 Referral to Council will only be made following prior reference to senior management.
  9. 7 Selection Criteria and Process

    1. 7.1 Where there is a reduction in the need for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, and a number of employees are employed undertaking that work, these employees will form a pool of staff at risk of redundancy as defined under section 4.1. A formal selection process will be undertaken to determine which employees are to be made redundant. The process will seek to identify the employees from that pool with the knowledge, skills and qualities that best meet the present and anticipated needs of the University.
  10. 8 Implementation of Redundancies

    Where it has been identified that there is likely to be a need for a reduction in staffing numbers, consultation will be carried out as follows: -

    1. 8.1 First Formal Consultation Meeting - The employee should be invited, in writing, to attend a formal consultation meeting with the HoD (or other relevant Senior Manager) or his/her nominee and given the right to be accompanied. At the meeting the reason for the redundancy situation arising should be explained, together with the rationale for the employee's inclusion in the pool of staff at risk of redundancy.
      1. 8.1.1 At this meeting the employee will be advised that s/he is at risk of redundancy. S/he will be provided with details of the criteria to be used and means of selecting individuals to be made redundant. Employees will be asked to provide any relevant information to be taken into account when they are assessed against the selection criteria.
      2. 8.1.2 Where the pool has been established as containing the same number of posts as there are posts to be lost through reduction of staffing in the relevant exercise, the employee will be advised of that by the manager conducting the meeting.
      3. 8.1.3 In any case, the employee will be invited to put forward any suggestions as to how the relevant redundancies could be avoided or reduced in number.
    2. 8.2 Final Consultation Meeting
      1. 8.2.1 Following any selection process, those employees who have been provisionally selected for redundancy will be invited, in writing, to meet with the HOD (or other relevant Senior Manager) or his/her nominee to discuss the outcome of the selection exercise. That manager will outline the reasons for redundancy, as well as any criteria for selection and how they have been applied in the individual's case.
      2. 8.2.2 Where no selection is to be made, employees whose posts have been identified as redundant will be invited to a meeting with the Head of Department (or other relevant Senior Manager) or his/her nominee at which action taken to date will be reviewed.
      3. 8.2.3 In any case the employee and his/her representative may make further representations, which will be considered.
      4. 8.2.4 If the consultation process has not identified a way to maintain employment, the post will be declared redundant.
      5. 8.2.5 Following the meeting the HoD (or other relevant Senior Manager) or his/her nominee will write to the individual to advise him/her of the position. The letter will respond to any representations made during the final consultation meeting and, if the post is being declared redundant, will explain the employee's right of appeal, together with details of any notice provisions.
  11. 9 Redundancy Payments

    1. 9.1 Redundancy payments will be calculated in accordance with Appendix A. Eligibility for a redundancy payment may be lost if an employee unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment.
  12. 10 Academic Freedom - Reference to Senior Academic Officer5

    1. 10.1 If, during the consultation process, an employee indicates that s/he believes that his/her consideration for redundancy is related to the exercise of his/her academic freedom, s/he will have the right to have his/her case reviewed by a Senior Academic Officer of the University. In order to invoke a review, s/he should write to the Director of HR outlining the reasons for his/her belief. The Director of HR will make arrangements for the case to be considered by a Senior Academic Officer and the employee will be notified accordingly.
    2. 10.2 Where a case is to be considered by the Senior Academic Officer, the employee and person(s) who established the redundancy pool will be treated as the parties to the case and have the opportunity to make written submissions. On the basis of the evidence submitted, the Senior Academic Officer will determine whether the redundancy situation is related to the fact that the employee has questioned or tested received wisdom or put forward new ideas or controversial or unpopular opinions or is likely to do so in the future, or whether there are other grounds justifying a potential redundancy. If, but only if, the Senior Academic Officer decides that the consideration of the employee for redundancy is related primarily to the fact that the employee has exercised his/her academic freedom or the way that s/he is likely to do so in future, the Senior Academic Officer will inform the employee accordingly and the redundancy procedure will cease. If, however, the Senior Academic Officer concludes that the primary reason for consideration of the employee for redundancy is a reason other than the exercise of his/her academic freedom or where there are other factors which may, in the view of the Senior Academic Officer, justify the potential redundancy, whether or not there are also issues of academic freedom, the consultation process will continue. The written representations and decision will be made available to both parties once the Senior Academic Officer has made his/her determination.
  13. 11 Appeals

    1. 11.1 The employee has the right of appeal against a decision to terminate his/her employment under this procedure. Any appeal should be sent to the Director of HR within ten working days of the employee receiving the written decision to dismiss. The appeal must state the grounds for appeal.
    2. 11.2 The appeal will be heard by an appeal panel consisting of three senior managers of the University appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and will include academic representation where appropriate. The appeal panel will have had no prior involvement with the case and the appeal hearing will be a review of the decision to dismiss.
    3. 11.3 The decision may be given verbally at the appeal hearing and will in any event be conveyed or confirmed in writing within ten working days of the hearing.
    4. 11.4 The decision following the appeal shall be final and there will be no further internal right of appeal.

This procedure will be reviewed periodically to ensure compliance with changes in employment law and equality and diversity legislation.

Guidelines are available and should be referred to in the application of this procedure.

Notes

  1. For the purposes of S188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 the University shall constitute a single establishment
  2. A contractual requirement to work at the York Campus includes Kingís Manor, Heslington East and West
  3. For definition of senior manager see the guidelines (section 4.1)
  4. In the case of fixed-term contracts consultation will not normally commence more than 6 months prior to the contract end date.
  5. The Senior Academic Officer will normally be a PVC/DVC with no prior involvement in the case. S/he will not be related to the department concerned and will be senior to the parties involved
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Appendix A - Redundancy Payments

Employees who are made redundant following two or more years' continuous service as at the date of dismissal will be eligible for a redundancy payment based on one week's pay for each completed year of service. The calculation will be based on the employee's gross weekly pay excluding any fluctuating payments i.e. bonuses, non-contractual overtime etc. and will include any entitlement to statutory redundancy pay*.

Total payment will be limited to the maximum tax-free amount payable by law (currently £30,000).

Employees will generally be expected to work out their period of contractual notice so entitlement to pay in lieu of notice will not normally arise.

*In the event that the amount payable under statutory provisions is higher, an adjustment will be required.

Document Control

Title:
Redundancy Procedure
Applicable to:
All Staff
Date Last Reviewed:
May 2011
Procedure Owner:
Human Resources

Guidelines

  1. Application and scope
  2. General principles
  3. Authority to act
  4. Roles and responsibilities
  5. Measures to avoid or minimise redundancy
  6. Identification of potential redundancies
  7. Information and consultation
  8. Approval of Council
  9. Selection criteria and process
  10. Implementation of redundancies
  11. Reference to Senior Academic Officer
  12. Redeployment
  13. Time off to look for new work or training
  14. Assistance
  15. Appeals
  1. 1 Application and Scope

    1. 1.1 The University recognises the contribution all staff make to delivering its aim of providing outstanding teaching, research and supporting services. It also recognises the need to ensure that staff feel secure and are appropriately supported throughout their employment. The University is committed to protecting the employment security of employees by appropriate planning. It will ensure that, as far as practicable, the overall and departmental planning and budget setting processes will take account of potential staffing implications and wherever possible avoid the need for redundancy.
    2. 1.2 In particular, the University will seek to respond to financial pressures by reducing non-pay costs where appropriate. There may, however, be occasions when changes in funding provision, the demand for services, or organisational, technological or academic developments impact on staffing requirements. This may include situations where roles are re-configured or work is re-allocated such that the number of staff required by the University to undertake particular work has reduced, although the work itself continues or the same amount of work is undertaken. In such cases the University will seek to minimise the effect of redundancies by considering alternative measures and/or seeking appropriate redeployment opportunities (see redeployment policy: http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/hr/resources/policy/redeployment.htm).
    3. 1.3 This procedure applies to all employees employed by the University of York under a contract of employment with more than twelve months' continuous employment as at the proposed date of dismissal. The commencement date of continuous service will be as stated in the employee's contract of employment (available from HR). Further guidance on contractual arrangements is available at: http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/hr/managers/casual_workers/general_process.pdf
  2. 2 General Principles

    The following principles will apply to the application of this procedure:

    1. 2.1 Right to be accompanied
      1. 2.1.1 Formal Meetings - All employees who are the subject of this procedure will have the right to be accompanied at any formal meetings held under this procedure by a single trade union representative or work colleague. The work colleague must be an employee of the University of York. Employees are expected to make all arrangements for their work colleague to attend meetings and it is expected that adequate time be allowed to arrange representation and for attendance. Where the chosen companion cannot attend on the date proposed, the employee can propose an alternative time and date so long as it is reasonable and is within a reasonable timescale, normally five working days of the original date.
      2. 2.1.2 Informal Meetings - By agreement, the facility to be accompanied may be extended to the informal stage where this is deemed to be in the interests of an early resolution. If a member of staff wishes to be accompanied at an informal meeting permission will not be unreasonably withheld.
      3. 2.1.3 Role of representative or companion - See Section 4 for roles and responsibilities
      4. 2.1.4 Definition of representative or companion - Whilst legal representation would not normally be consistent with an internal procedure, there may be situations when it may be helpful for either party to be legally represented and, subject to agreement, legal representation may be appropriate. Employees should note that the absence of legal representation will not prejudice their legal rights and they will still have recourse to the provisions of employment law
    2. 2.2 Equality and Diversity
      1. 2.2.1 If there are equality and diversity issues that are relevant to the employees these should be made known to those involved and appropriate support provided by the University. In the case of a disability or language issue an employee may be accompanied by an appropriate person to provide support.
      2. 2.2.2 Managers should check if there are any special arrangements, e.g. support for a disability, that an employee or his/her companion may require to enable them to participate fully in the procedure. Appropriate guidance may be sought from an HR Manager. Correspondence in relation to this procedure will invite the employee to inform the University if they require additional support.
    3. 2.3 Confidentiality
      1. 2.3.1 All parties involved in this procedure must ensure that they maintain the confidentiality of the process as appropriate, within and outside the University.
      2. 2.3.2 Audio and video recording of meetings is not permitted except in exceptional circumstances, by prior agreement with all parties.
    4. 2.4 Involvement of Human Resources - A member of the human resources team will be available to offer advice on the procedure as required.
    5. 2.5 Timescales
      1. 2.5.1 The aim throughout the procedure is to ensure that staff are treated reasonably and in accordance with the principles of fairness and justice.
      2. 2.5.2 Whilst every endeavour will be made to comply with timescales, due to the complexity and or specific circumstances of a case, timescales may be varied.
      3. 2.5.3 To prevent delays communication in relation to this procedure may be issued via electronic mail.
    6. 2.6 Attendance
      1. 2.6.1 If an employee does not attend a meeting convened under this procedure normally the meeting will be adjourned to establish contact with the employee to ascertain the reason for his/her absence and determine how to proceed. If the employee persistently fails to attend without good reason this will be noted and the procedure will continue.
  3. 3 Authority to Act

    1. 3.1 The term Head of Department includes Heads of (or Directors of) Support Service Directorates. The Head of Department may select a nominee to act on his/her behalf. The nominee will be agreed in conjunction with an HR representative and will be a senior colleague. In the absence of the Head of Department it may be appropriate for the manager deputising for the HoD to act on his/her behalf.
    2. 3.2 There may be exceptional circumstances where it would not be appropriate for the Head of Department to act. In such circumstances the case will be referred to the Director of HR who may refer the case to an alternative Head of Department or a more senior officer of the University.
  4. 4 Roles and Responsibilities

      Title Role
      HR Representative The HR representative will provide advice in respect of the application of this procedure. S/he will support the manager in the process of making an informed, fair and reasonable decision.
      Employee Will be provided with the opportunity to make representations regarding any proposed redundancy and provide any relevant information for consideration as part of any selection process. S/he may provide information and put his/her case in relation to any meetings/appeal under the procedure. At appeal s/he may question any witnesses and/or the presenting manager and make representations to the appeal officers.
      Representative or companion This may be either a Trade Union representative or work colleague. S/he will support and advise the employee, and may ask any questions or make any representations on behalf of the employee. S/he cannot answer questions that are directly put to the employee.
      Manager who made the original decision being appealed

      May present the case or be a witness to explain the decision being appealed.

      May be accompanied by advisor.

      Note taker To take notes of any appeal hearing. These will be notes of key points and will not be a verbatim record. The notes will be provided to both parties who will have the opportunity to submit their comments.
      Appeal Panel In cases of redundancy dismissal there will be an appeal panel of three senior managers appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, including a chair, who will be a member of Senior Management Group.
      Senior Academic Officer

      Vice Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, or Academic Co-ordinator

      Senior Manager Member of the Senior Management Group, Academic Co-ordinator or Head of Department
    1. 4.1 If a senior manager is subject to this procedure his/her line manager would be responsible for managing the process and adopting the roles as indicated for Heads of Department.
  5. 5 Measures to avoid or minimise redundancy

    1. 5.1 In line with the University's commitment to maintaining staff in employment wherever possible, the following alternatives to redundancies should be considered where available and appropriate and will be the subject of consultation with the trade unions:
      • Seeking savings from non-staff budgets
      • Reducing the use of agency staff
      • Reducing staff through natural wastage (freezing recruitment in so far as this is feasible)
      • Seeking alternative funding
      • Limiting overtime working
      • Redeploying individuals to alternative posts (see Redeployment Policy)
      • Provision of reasonable training or re-training of individuals for alternative work
    2. 5.2 Consideration will also be given to other ways of maintaining employment through part-time working, job-share arrangements, unpaid leave and secondments or sabbaticals where appropriate.
    3. 5.3 In the event that alternatives to redundancy cannot be identified, consideration may be given to the use of voluntary severance. This will, however, depend on the circumstances of the case and further guidance should be sought from the relevant HR Manager.
  6. 6 Identification of Potential Redundancies

    1. 6.1 Heads of Department should take steps to anticipate future changes in demand or service delivery and ensure that these are factored into their staffing plans. There may, however, be occasions when the Head of Department identifies a requirement to reduce staffing levels in a specific department or area of work. The HoD will be responsible for identifying the posts that will become redundant and, where relevant, the pool of staff affected. This will generally be following discussion with senior management. In cases involving the expiry of fixed-term funding this will not usually be necessary.
    2. 6.2 It is recognised that the work may extend across a number of departments and, in such cases, the Vice-Chancellor (or a senior manager appointed by the Vice-Chancellor) will establish the reduction required and the pool for selection. Normally guidance should be sought from Human Resources (HR) regarding the constitution of the selection pool. Careful consideration should be given to defining the appropriate pool which will be determined by the nature of the work in relation to which the University's requirement for staff is (or will be) reduced or is ceasing and, in the case of very specialist work, may be limited to one individual or a group of individuals carrying out the work.
    3. 6.3 Heads of Department or the appropriate senior manager will be required to document the proposals and forward these to HR to initiate consultation with the relevant trade union as appropriate. Where it is anticipated that only posts held on fixed-term contracts will be at risk, this information may be provided as part of the regular monitoring process.
    4. 6.4 It is recognised that there may be circumstances where it would be inappropriate for the Head of Department to be responsible for managing a redundancy process. In such cases the Director of HR will identify an appropriate manager to act in place of the Head of Department.
  7. 7 Information and Consultation

    1. 7.1 The University is committed to consult trade union representatives about proposed redundancies. There is also a legal requirement to carry out collective consultation with representatives of recognised trade unions when the University1 is proposing to dismiss as redundant twenty or more employees over a period of ninety days or less. Consultation must begin at least thirty days before the first dismissal but in order to be meaningful should commence at the earliest opportunity.
    2. 7.2 Consultation will cover the following areas:
      • The reason for the proposed redundancies
      • The number and description of employees the University proposes to dismiss as redundant
      • The total number of employees of that description employed at the University
      • Details of the selection criteria
      • The method of carrying out the dismissals
      • The period of time over which the dismissals are to take effect
      • The method of calculating the amount of redundancy payments (see Appendix A of Redundancy Procedure)
    3. 7.3 Consultation should be carried out with a view to reaching agreement and should include ways of avoiding the dismissals, reducing the number of employees to be dismissed and mitigating the effects of dismissal.
    4. 7.4 Collective consultation will be undertaken at the Joint Consultative Forum. The group will be notified, at the earliest opportunity, of any potential redundancies and the reasons why these are being contemplated. The University will provide the trade unions with the information necessary to inform the consultation2. This information will normally include details of the context within which redundancies are being contemplated and the availability of funding. It may also include, for example, information about recent staff turnover and/or redeployment opportunities and, where relevant, the extent of any financial savings required.
    5. 7.5 Employees who are 'at risk' of redundancy should also be consulted on an individual basis. In the case of fixed-term contracts or fixed funding, it is recommended that consultation should commence six months prior to the expiry date. In other cases consultation should start as soon as managers are aware of the potential for staff reductions. Members of staff should be advised of the situation and invited to put forward suggestions as to how the redundancy situation could be avoided, the numbers reduced or the effects mitigated. Case law has shown that dismissals have been found to be unfair where a union has been consulted but not the individuals concerned.
    6. 7.6 In cases involving a number of staff, consultation may initially take place on a group basis. Staff will be advised of the potential for redundancies and the reasons for these and will be invited to make representations regarding means of avoiding or reducing the number of redundancies. Appropriate trade union representatives will be invited to attend.
    7. 7.7 Throughout the consultation period, consideration will be given to any representations made and there may be ongoing discussion with the employee(s) concerned. Employees will be given the opportunity to be represented by a work colleague or trade union representative at any formal meetings and these will be recorded via the consultation meeting pro forma.
    8. 7.8 Consultation should also be undertaken regarding other employees who may be affected by the proposed dismissals, or by measures taken in connection with them, even though they themselves are not subject to redundancy.
  8. 8 Approval of Council

    1. 8.1 When a restructuring exercise or significant change in service provision is proposed Heads of Department are advised to liaise with the relevant HR Manager. Where the proposed changes are likely to lead to the redundancy of ten or more full-time equivalent staff within a Department or 10% of the total full-time equivalent staff within a Department3 within a thirty day period, the relevant Senior Manager(s) will be required to prepare a business case for consideration by Council. This should outline the reasons for the proposals, any alternative options considered and the progress of any collective consultation carried out.
    2. 8.2 Referral to Council will only be made following reference to senior management. Council may approve the recommendation(s) of the Senior Manager(s) or may remit them for further consideration. In such cases the approval of Council to the proposed reduction in staffing will be required before any redundancy is implemented. Consultation with relevant parties should, however, continue.
  9. 9 Selection Criteria and Process

    1. 9.1 Managers will adopt a fair, consistent and objective approach to the selection of those whose employment is to be terminated. Where a redundancy situation involves a pool of staff comprising a number of people larger than the number of posts to be made redundant, selection criteria will be drawn up by the relevant Head(s) of Department (or other Senior Manager(s)), in liaison with appropriate specialists, including HR. The criteria and means of selection will be made known to all those identified as being at risk of redundancy and the selection will be carried out accordingly.
    2. 9.2 Relevant selection criteria will depend on the circumstances but may include some or all of the following:
      • Qualifications
      • Skills and experience to meet the present and anticipated needs of the University
      • Performance, including the level and quality of contribution and outputs
      • Disciplinary and attendance records
      • Proven evidence of flexibility and an ability to acquire new skills
    3. This list is not, however, exhaustive and, subject to consultation, relevant selection criteria will be determined by the circumstances of each case.

    4. 9.3 The means of selection will be determined by the circumstances and may involve an interview process. Any such interview process will normally be undertaken within the department with appropriate input by HR.
  10. 10 Implementation of Redundancies

    1. 10.1 Individual Consultation Meetings
      1. 10.1.1 In addition to any consultation carried out with trade union representatives it is important to ensure that any employee potentially at risk of redundancy is consulted on an individual basis.
      2. 10.1.2 Individuals will be provided with information explaining the consultation process. They may, at this stage, indicate their preference to opt out of the consultation process by signing the relevant form [doc]. This will not affect their entitlement to a redundancy payment and if they subsequently indicate that they wish to attend a consultation meeting, this will be arranged.
    2. 10.2 First Consultation Meeting
      1. 10.2.1 The employee should be invited, in writing, to attend a formal consultation meeting with the HoD (or other relevant Senior Manager) or his/her nominee and given the right to be accompanied. At the meeting the reason for the redundancy situation arising should be explained, together with the rationale for the employee's inclusion in the pool of staff at risk of redundancy. S/he should be advised of the selection criteria (where relevant) and any steps that could be taken to maintain the individual in employment, including details of the redeployment process. In the event that a selection exercise is to be undertaken, employees should be advised of the means of selection and invited to put forward any relevant information e.g. CV.
      2. 10.2.2 At the meeting the employee will be given the opportunity to state his/her case, including any opportunities for continued employment, and raise any factors s/he wishes to have considered.
      3. 10.2.3 If, as a result of the discussion, it is not clear that the redundancy situation can be avoided the individual will be declared at risk' of redundancy and invited to register for the redeployment bulletin.
      4. 10.2.4 The consultation meeting pro forma will be completed jointly to confirm what has been discussed at the meeting. This will be signed by those present as a record of the meeting. A refusal to sign the pro forma will not, however, delay action under the procedure.
    3. 10.3 Ongoing Consideration
      1. 10.3.1 Following the consultation meeting, consideration will be given to any representations made and the manager who conducted the meeting should follow-up any suggestions made by the employee to maintain him/her in employment. It is important to keep the employee advised of any progress in this respect (e.g. availability of alternative funding etc.) and there may be ongoing discussion with the employee. Further formal meetings may be appropriate. The employee will be given the opportunity to be accompanied by a work colleague or Trade Union representative at any formal meetings and these should be documented.
    4. 10.4 Final Consultation Meeting
      1. 10.4.1 In the event that the consultation process has not identified a way to avoid the redundancy or where the individual is provisionally selected for redundancy following a selection exercise, s/he will be invited in writing to a final consultation meeting, normally with the manager who conducted the first consultation meeting. This meeting should take place not less than thirty days after the first consultation meeting. The letter will set out the issues that have led to the meeting and will explain that the purpose of the meeting will be to consider the potential termination of the employee's employment on the grounds of redundancy.
      2. 10.4.2 At the meeting the manager conducting it will explain the background and review any action taken, including, where relevant, the application of selection criteria to the individual. The employee will be given a further opportunity to raise any factors s/he wishes to have considered, including any opportunities for continued employment. Where the employee's representations relate to his/her assessment against the selection criteria, the meeting may be adjourned if necessary to allow those who carried out the assessment to respond4. The employee shall be informed of any changes to his/her assessment against the criteria or that the assessment is unchanged.
      3. 10.4.3 If the consultation process has not identified a way of avoiding the redundancy situation, the post will be declared redundant and the individual will be advised that his/her employment will be terminated by reason of redundancy (with due notice as appropriate). The employee should also be advised that s/he will remain eligible to be considered for redeployment opportunities until his/her employment has ceased.
      4. 10.4.4 Following the meeting, and having regard to any representations made, the HoD will confirm the decision in writing. The letter will respond to any representations made during the final consultation meeting and will explain the employee's right of appeal, together with details of any notice arrangements and any redundancy pay payable.
  11. 11 Reference to Senior Academic Officer

    1. 11.1 In the event that an employee believes that his/her consideration for redundancy is related to the exercise of his/her academic freedom, s/he should raise this initially with the relevant HoD. The relevant HoD will set out the circumstances which have given rise to the potential redundancy situation or will refer the case to the senior manager responsible for identifying the redundancy pool, for that person to set out those circumstances. If, however, the employee is not satisfied by the explanation given, s/he should write to the Director of HR outlining his/her reasons for believing that the potential redundancy is related to the exercise of his/her academic freedom. It should be noted that the fact that the University intends to cease or reduce teaching and/or research in a particular area does not of itself amount to a breach of academic freedom.
    2. 11.2 The Director of HR will identify a senior academic officer of the University to consider the case. This will normally be a PVC/DVC without any prior involvement in the case. Both parties will be invited to make written representations to the Senior Academic Officer. The employee will be required to explain why s/he believes that the decision to declare him/her 'at risk' of redundancy is related to the exercise of his/her academic freedom. The HoD or senior manager concerned will be required to set out the reasons for the redundancy situation arising and, in particular, how these apply to the individual concerned.
    3. 11.3 The Senior Academic Officer will consider the case and determine whether the individual's concerns are well-founded or whether there are other factors which justify the potential redundancy. The Senior Academic Officer will notify the parties, in writing, of his/her decision and provide copies of the written submission to both parties. If the Senior Academic Officer finds that the identification of the individual for potential redundancy is related solely to the exercise by that person of his/her academic freedom, the redundancy procedure will cease. If, however, there are factors other than academic freedom which may, in the view of the Senior Academic Officer, justify the potential redundancy, the consultation process will continue from the point reached prior to the reference to the Senior Academic Officer.
    4. 11.4 It is incumbent upon the employee to raise any concerns related to academic freedom at the earliest opportunity and it is therefore anticipated that reference to the Senior Academic Officer will normally be made following the first formal consultation meeting.
  12. 12 Redeployment

    1. 12.1 All employees with more than 12 months' continuous employment as at the proposed date of dismissal will be eligible to be considered for redeployment opportunities in line with the University's redeployment policy. When a member of staff is declared to be 'at risk' of redundancy, s/he should be invited to register to receive the redeployment e-bulletin. Further guidance on the University's approach to redeployment is available at (see http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/hr/resources/policy/redeployment.htm).
    2. 12.2 An employee under notice of redundancy will continue to be subject to the University's redeployment provisions until his/her dismissal takes effect.
    3. 12.3 Eligibility for a redundancy payment may be lost if an individual unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment. Individuals under notice of redundancy have a statutory right to a trial period of four weeks in any suitable alternative employment to which they are appointed by the University. If, during this period, the alternative employment proves unsuitable, the employee or employer may terminate the contract and the individual will be entitled to receive the redundancy payment s/he would have received had the alternative employment not been offered. If, however, the employee unreasonably terminates the contract, he/she will not be entitled to a redundancy payment. The trial period of four weeks may be extended by agreement between the employee and line manager.
    4. 12.4 If an employee is re-deployed to a fixed-term post, which is not extended or renewed at the end of the fixed-term, the University will make a redundancy payment to the employee on the basis of total service with the University. (See Appendix A of the redundancy procedure).
  13. 13 Time off to look for new work or for training

    1. 13.1 Individuals who are under notice of redundancy will be entitled to a reasonable amount of paid time off to look for work or to arrange training.
  14. 14 Assistance

    1. 14.1 Individuals who are subject to the provisions of this policy may seek further advice and assistance from the relevant HR Manager.
  15. 15 Appeals

    1. 15.1 Preparation
      1. 15.1.1 The employee can appeal against a decision to dismiss under this procedure and must submit in writing his/her grounds for appeal to the Director of HR within ten working days of receiving the written decision to dismiss.
      2. 15.1.2 Appeals will normally be heard within thirty working days of the notice of appeal.
      3. 15.1.3 Appeals can be made on the following grounds:
        • The procedure was unfair, and/or the correct procedure was not followed.
        • The decision was unfair or perverse because the evidence did not support the outcome
        • There is new information that was not previously available to support the employee's case
      4. 15.1.4 HR will notify the parties involved of the date of the appeal hearing a minimum of ten days prior to the meeting.
      5. 15.1.5 The parties will send to HR the names of any witnesses and an explanation of why their evidence is required together with any written submissions they wish to have considered and a copy of any documentary evidence they intend to rely on at the hearing. They will do so as soon as reasonably practicable and not less than five working days before the date set for the hearing to allow for an exchange of documents between the parties.
      6. 15.1.6 On the basis of the information submitted, the Appeal panel will determine whether or not such witness evidence is required and will confirm the witnesses to be called. The Appeal panel may request additional witnesses but as it will only be able to consider this shortly before the hearing, notification may be given at the hearing.
      7. 15.1.7 Employees are responsible for making arrangements for their witnesses to attend.
      8. 15.1.8 HR will send the names of any witnesses to be called and copies of any written submissions and documentary evidence to all parties as soon as these have been exchanged.
      9. 15.1.9 The appeal panel will have the authority to reach the following conclusions or to make other recommendations:
        • Confirm the dismissal appealed against
        • Uphold the appeal of the employee if there is evidence to support his/her continued employment or if the conduct of the procedure has been unfair
        • Adjourn the appeal due to significant new evidence which requires further investigation and consideration
      10. 15.1.10 The outcome of the appeal will be final and there will be no further internal right of appeal. Any dismissal under this procedure will remain in force pending the outcome of any appeal.
    2. 15.2 Conduct of Appeal Hearing
      1. 15.2.1 The purpose of the appeal hearing is to establish if the decision to dismiss by reason of redundancy was appropriate and procedurally correct.
      2. 15.2.2 Requests for adjournments may be made by any party.
      3. 15.2.3 If a witness is called by any party to the appeal s/he will be invited to attend the hearing at an appropriate time.
    3. 15.3 Appeal procedure
      1. 15.3.1 The Chair of the appeal panel will open the hearing with introductions and explain:
        • those present and their roles
        • the purpose of the meeting is to consider the employee's case for appeal against the University's procedure
        • how the meeting will be conducted
        • the possible outcomes of the hearing
      2. 15.3.2 The employee or his/her representative will first present, stating his/her case for appeal and any evidence in support of the case. Witnesses may be called and questioned by employee and the other parties to the appeal.
      3. 15.3.3 The manager presenting the University case and his/her advisor will present the reasons why the original decision was taken and call any witnesses. Questions may be put to the presenting manager and any witnesses as above.
      4. 15.3.4 The manager presenting the University case will make a final submission and then the employee will make his/her final submission.
      5. 15.3.5 If new facts have emerged or there is any dispute over facts, it may be necessary to adjourn the appeal hearing in order to investigate them and reconvene the hearing at a later date when this has been completed. Any new evidence must be shared with both parties prior to the reconvened hearing.
      6. 15.3.6 When the appeal panel has all the relevant evidence it will consider its decision after those presenting have withdrawn. This adjournment before a decision is taken allows the appeal officers time for reflection and proper consideration of the case for appeal and any additional evidence that has been presented.
      7. 15.3.7 The decision of the appeal panel may be conveyed verbally to the employee after a period of adjournment unless the appeal officers require more time for reflection and consideration. The decision will be conveyed (or confirmed) in writing within ten working days of the hearing. The correspondence will contain the reasons for the appeal officers' decision as to whether the employee's appeal is upheld.

These guidelines must be read in conjunction with the Redundancy procedure.

Reference should be made to HR if there are any further queries.

Footnotes
  1. The University shall constitute a single establishment for the purposes of the legislation on collective consultation.
  2. This information will be provided without the need for a formal request by the trade union under TULR(C)A s.188
  3. For the purposes of section 6 above each Support Service Directorate will be classed as a separate department
  4. Where the HoD or nominee was not party to the selection process
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Document Control

Title:
Redundancy Guidelines
Applicable to:
All Staff
Date Last Reviewed:
May 2011
Procedure Owner:
Human Resources

Other template letters/documentation used in the process will be provided by Human Resources as required.

 

 

Managerial adviceline

The University provides an employee assistance services through CIC.

This includes access to a managerial adviceline which can assist by talking through the issues that managers may encounter when dealing with staff.

The adviceline is available 24 hours a day and can be contacted on 0800 085 3805.