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Managing Staff Reductions Northumbria University

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					                  NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY




                HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT




                     POLICY DOCUMENT


DOCUMENT TITLE               Managing Staff Reductions
AUTHOR                       Clare Curran
AUTHORISED BY




DATE OF ISSUE                30th January 2004
REVIEW INTERVAL
LOCATION OF COPIES
Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

Index                                                                                      Page

1.0     Definition of Redundancy                                                              4

2.0     Notification and Consultation about Proposed Redundancies                             5

3.0     Methods for Avoiding/Minimising Redundancy                                            7

4.0     Selection Criteria                                                                    8

5.0     Personal Support for Staff                                                            8

6.0     Offers of Suitable Alternative Employment                                             9

7.0     Entitlement to Redundancy Payments                                                    9

8.0     Early Retirement on the grounds of Redundancy                                         10

9.0     Consultation to be made with individual employees to be made redundant                10

10.0    Giving Notice to the Employees to be Made Redundant                                   11

11.0    Allowing Employees, who have been given notice, reasonable time off with pay to
        seek other employment                                                          11

12.0    Appealing against Redundancy                                                          11

Appendix 1:      Disclosure of Information                                                    14

Appendix 2:      Redundancy Payments                                                          15

Appendix 3       Statutory Minimum Periods of Notice                                          17




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Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS




                                     Document Review History
         Review Date                          Reviewed by                    Signature




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Northumbria University                                                 Human Resources Department
                                                                    MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

Introduction
This Policy covers the consultation and handling of redundancies and early retirement
amongst staff of the University. The Policy results from a collective agreement between the
University and the recognised trade unions.


It is the intention of the University, by careful forward planning, to ensure as far as possible
the continuing employment for its staff.             However, the business needs and financial
constraints of the University may from time to time make it necessary to consider the
possibility of terminating the contracts of staff by reason of redundancy. Agreement has
been reached with the recognised trade unions (UCU, UNISON and GMB) to provide a
procedure to ensure a fair and consistent approach to dismissing employees by reason of
redundancy.


The University recognises the need to share and consult with staff, as defined by the draft
European Directive on Information and Consultation.               The University will seek to share
information about areas at risk, where possible, before this policy is formally invoked. The
University will, for its part, share on a systematic basis information relating to, for example,
financial position, workloads etc.


This policy is designed to conform to the requirements of Employment legislation and to
good standards of industrial relations practice. The policy does not, however, override the
rights of staff under employment legislation or contracts of employment.


1.0     Definition of Redundancy
An employee will be considered redundant where:


1.1     The University has ceased (or intends to cease) carrying on the business in which
        the employee was employed, or ceases (or intends to cease) carrying out this
        business at the place where the employee was employed, or;
1.2     The requirements of the University for employees to carry out work of that particular
        kind in which the person concerned was employed, has ceased or diminished (or is
        expected to cease or diminish), either in the University as a whole or in the place
        where the person was employed.

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Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

2.0     Notification and Consultation about Proposed Redundancies
If it is perceived by the University that redundancies may be necessary, the Director of
Human Resources (or his/her nominee) will consult with the recognised Trade Unions. For
the purposes of this procedure the “recognised Trade Unions” means all Trade Unions
which are recognised by the University. Currently these are UCU, UNISON, and GMB. The
University will hold initial discussions with the branch representatives of the recognised
Trade Unions, to share and agree processes for redundancy consultation. The University
will, after consultation with Branch Representatives of the recognised Trade Unions, ensure
that the Regional Officers are informed and made aware of the consultation process. Local
branch representatives would be expected also to consult with their regional or national
officers as appropriate.


Where the University perceives the necessity to make redundancies, notification will take
place at the earliest opportunity, which will be at least six months before the first intended
dismissal date. Appendix 1 details the information to be provided before the initial meeting
with the recognised Trade Unions. Copies of the documents detailed in Appendix 1, will be
circulated to the local representatives of the recognised Trade Unions. The University will
comply with any requirements as set out in employment legislation regarding consultation.


The University will also comply with the statutory procedures, if applicable, for notifying the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).


The University recognises that consultation is a two way process, in that management
should put forward their initial proposals as soon as is reasonably practicable, and
representatives should in response put forward their comments and feedback on proposals.
The University is well aware of the legal requirements in respect of consultation, and
recognises that in the event of any redundancies occurring, agreed procedures will be
followed.


It is recognised that consultation with a view to reaching an agreement needs to take place
in respect of any redundancies, and legislation reflects that the University should consult in
good time in respect of the following:
       The number and category of employees at risk of redundancy;

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                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

         The proposed method for selecting employees for redundancy;
         The proposed method of carrying out the dismissals with due regard to any agreed
          procedure, including the period over which the dismissals are to take effect;
         The proposed method of calculating the amount of any redundancy payments.


The consultation process will also seek to look at ways of:
         Avoiding dismissals;
         Reducing the numbers of employees to be dismissed, and;
         Mitigating the consequence of the dismissals.


The University recognises that in instigating this policy, employees may wish to identify other
employees with whom the Director of Human Resources (or his/her nominee) will consult as
well as the recognised Trade Unions. The University therefore recognises the need at a
time of such sensitivity to agree with the recognised Trade Unions and the members of staff
affected by this policy, the most appropriate people who will be involved in the consultation
processes surrounding redundancy.


3.0       Methods of Avoiding/Minimising Redundancy
Consultation will take place from the time of notification about proposed redundancies,
between the Director of Human Resources (or his/her nominee), the appropriate Manager
and representatives of the recognised Trade Unions, to establish selection criteria. The
criteria established will take account of strategies to avoid/minimise redundancy, and these
may include:
          a) Seeking volunteers from appropriate areas;
          b) Natural wastage (i.e. resignations, retirements for age and ill health);
          c) In a period of contraction, restricting the external recruitment of permanent staff
               and instead filling vacancies with internal employees;
          d) Voluntary transfer of staff to vacancies which may exist elsewhere in the
               University;
          e) Ensuring overtime is eliminated wherever possible;
          f)   Training/retraining of employees for different work for which there is a
               requirement;



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                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

        g) Redeployment (where possible) of employees to alternative posts within the
             University. For such situations the employee and the school/university service
             will undertake the transfer on a trial basis. This will ensure the individual is able
             to undertake the duties of the post and is able to fit within the required structure
             of the school/department;
        h) Voluntary variation in hours (e.g. transfer from full time to part time);
        i)   Reviewing the use of temporary contracts or external contracts;
        j)   Virement from non-teaching staff budgets into teaching staff budgets;
        k) Ceasing to use agency workers and/or contractors;
        l)Retiring those over compulsory retirement age.                                                  Formatted: Indent: Left: 0.5", No bullets or
                                                                                                          numbering
NB: This is not exhaustive
                                                                                                          Formatted: Bullets and Numbering


In order to contribute to the success of these measures, the University may offer premature
retirement and/or voluntary redundancy, dependent on the particular circumstances of each
individual case or work area.


4.0     Selection Criteria
Every endeavour will be made to ensure that the selection criteria for redundancy are fair,
non-discriminatory, objective, readily understood, and capable of being applied in an
independent way, and widely accepted to ensure that employees are not unfairly selected
and that a consistent format is applied to all redundancy situations.


Every endeavour will be made to agree the selection criteria between the Director of Human
Resources (or his/her nominee), the appropriate Manager and representatives of the
recognised Trade Unions. In the absence of such agreement within a reasonable period,
the management of the University will determine the selection criteria. In the event that a
Trade Union official (e.g. Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary or Treasurer) may be identified as
redundant, the Director of Human Resources will notify the Regional Officer or the
appropriate Trade Union.




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Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

5.0     Personal Support for Staff
The University recognises that staff will require additional support and is committed to
providing this, where appropriate, to those identified as at risk under this policy.         It is
anticipated that such support will be provided, in most cases, utilising internal University
specialist staff. Support for staff may include:
        Personal counselling;
        Skills analysis;
        Provision of appropriate development;
        Career guidance;
        Developing CVs, completing application forms;
        Interview skills training;
        Time off for attendance at interviews.
NB: This list is not exhaustive.


6.0     Offers of Suitable Alternative Employment
The University will endeavour to find reasonable alternative employment for staff classified
as “at risk” under this policy. After due discussions between the individual, the
representative and manager, and having taken account of the individual’s stage in their
career and any personal issues, reasonable alternative roles will be considered.
Reasonable roles will be identified following a skills audit undertaken, and the individual, the
representative and management will work together to provide the appropriate support to
enable the individual to succeed.


Trial periods will be offered to individuals, where they are provided with another role. If the
person does not feel, or the School/Department does not feel, that the person fits the role,
then other opportunities, where available, will be considered. It is recognised that training
and support will need to be given during trial periods.


The University acknowledges the need for the individual to be fully supported throughout
any trial period and detailed guidelines will be provided to both the individual and the
relevant manager to ensure that this support is effectively facilitated. Where a post(s) is
offered and an employee unreasonably refuses such an offer of suitable alternative
employment, and after due consideration of all the facts surrounding the employee’s
response, the University may decide to refuse to make a redundancy payment.
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Northumbria University                                                 Human Resources Department
                                                                    MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS



It is recognised that if a member of staff is provided with a trial in a post whilst they are
serving their notice, the notice period will be suspended for the period of the trial.


7.0     Entitlement to Redundancy Payments
All employees who have at least two years’ continuous employment with the University, at
the date of termination of their employment by reason of redundancy, will qualify for a
redundancy payment.


The University may vary the redundancy package offered to staff depending upon the
funding available at the time of redundancies occurring. Where the redundancy package is
enhanced, this will apply only to the current round of redundancies and all staff identified at
that time.    Future packages may vary dependent upon funding availability.              While the
statutory minimum payment as identified in the Employment Rights Act will be made
available to staff, enhanced packages may be made available to staff dependent upon
funding availability at the time of any redundancies taking place, and having taken account
of the outcome of consultations with the Trade Unions.


8.0     Early Retirement on the grounds of Redundancy
In addition to a redundancy payment, the University may include, as part of the agreed
package, an opportunity for staff to retire early and receive a pension immediately.


The agreed package will indicate any enhancements to the basic pension that may be
available. Any offer relating to early retirement for redundancy purposes must comply with
the regulations of the relevant pensions schemes.                 The University Retirement Policy
provides further details.




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Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

9.0     Consultation to be made with individual employees to be made redundant
The Director of Human Resources (or his/her nominee) and the appropriate Manager will
meet with each employee identified at risk and being considered for redundancy to explain
the reasons for the required redundancies, the selection criteria to be adopted, and to
discuss ideas with, and receive ideas from, employees about ways of avoiding the
redundancies. The employee will have the right to be accompanied at this meeting by a
Trade Union representative or a friend from within the institution not acting in a legal
capacity. Where there is an entitlement to a redundancy payment, details will be given
about the payment, its method of calculation and how it will be paid (Appendix 2 details the
method of calculation of redundancy payments).


10.0    Giving Notice to the Employees to be Made Redundant
As with all other dismissals, employees are entitled to a minimum period of notice as
identified in their contracts of employment. It is recognised where such notice exceeds the
consultation period, this will be taken into account for that individual. Notice will be served
within the six-month period of consultation with the Trade Unions, and will include a written
statement outlining the application of the selection criteria to the individual employee.
Appendix 3 outlines the statutory minimum periods of notice.


11.0    Allowing Employees, who have been given notice, reasonable time off with pay
        to seek other employment
The Director of Human Resources (or his/her nominee) will agree with Managers the
provision of reasonable time off work for employees to seek other employment. In addition,
individual advice will be given on various subjects: e.g. financial advice, how to go about
finding another job, guidance on completing application forms and preparation for
interviews. Staff will also be provided with the opportunity of attending personal counselling,
as required, which the University will provide.


The University may give consideration to employing external consultants to provide career
guidance and outplacement counselling, to staff who will no longer hold a post within the
University.




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Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

12.0     Appealing against Redundancy
Employees will be advised of their right to appeal in their letter of dismissal.    The right of
appeal can only be against the selection criteria adopted and the application of the criteria to
the employee. The process of appeal will be as follows:
    a) The individual must lodge his/her intention to appeal within ten (10) working days of
         receipt of a letter confirming his/her selection for redundancy. The appeal letter
         should include the outline reasons for the appeal and should be sent to the
         University Secretary;
    b) If an employee has been offered a trial post, the appeal notice or appeal can be
         suspended at the employee’s request until such time as the trial period has been
         concluded.
    c) The appeal can only be on the grounds of the selection against the adopted criteria,
         and/or the application of the criteria to him/her. The appellant should lodge the
         Statement of Case in the University Secretary’s office at least 7 days before appeal
         hearing, to enable onward transmission to all parties involved in the appeal hearing.
    d) The appeal to the Board of Governors as outlined in the articles of Government will
         be determined by an appeal panel, which will comprise (for these purposes) three
         external members of the Board of Governors, informed by the Director of Human
         Resources, and with the University Legal Adviser present to provide a legal
         perspective.
    e) The University Secretary or his/her nominee will attend as secretary to the appeal
         panel;
    f)   The appeal will normally be held within no more than two (2) months of receipt of the
         letter of appeal;
    g) The decision of the appeal panel will be final;
    h) The decision will be relayed to the individual at the hearing, where possible, and in
         writing within five (5) working days of the hearing;
    i)   The individual may be represented by his/her Trade Union Representative or a friend
         from within the institution not acting in a legal capacity;
    j)   The University case will be presented by the Dean/Director, supported by a
         representative from the Human Resources Department.
    k) The individual will have the right to attend the appeal panel and to be heard by it, but
         if the individual fails to attend the meeting of the appeal panel without due reason
         given, the appeal panel may proceed in his/her absence and may reach a decision
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                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

         on the oral or written evidence available at the meeting. The individual/University
         Management may call witnesses to the meeting and in that event, either party or the
         appeal panel may question those witnesses. The appeal panel shall have the right
         to invite any relevant person to the hearing;
    l)   The appeal panel may adjourn the meeting at any time for any reason or such period
         of time as it thinks is fit. The appeal Panel will determine all matters of procedure
         having heard representation from the individual/University Management, subject to
         procedures outlined above.




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Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

Appendix 1       Disclosure of Information


The following information will be provided to the recognised Trade Unions prior to the initial
consultation meeting. The purpose of this information will be to commence the consultation
process and assist all parties in considering whether it is possible to avoid/reduce the
redundancies, and agree mechanisms for handling the proposed redundancies. In addition,
the discussions should consider ways to mitigate the consequences of the redundancies.


a.      The reason(s) for the redundancies to include what measures the University has
        taken to consider avoiding such redundancies;
b.      Proposal for the method of selection of redundancy;
c.      Proposal (where possible) to minimise redundancy taking account of the selection
        criteria;
d.      The numbers and descriptions of employees likely to be affected;
e.      The total number of employees of any such description employed at the university;
f.      Proposals on how the redundancies are to be carried out including the period over
        which the redundancies may take effect;
g.      Confirmation of redundancy payments to be made, and the method of calculating.


The University will, when discussing information, take account of any requirements as
outlined in employment legislation and European Directives.


NB: This list is not exhaustive




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Northumbria University                                               Human Resources Department
                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

Appendix 2       Redundancy Payments


The following provides details of the statutory minimum payments. However it is recognised
that the University would wish to engage in consultation with the recognised Trade Unions in
seeking to offer, where possible, enhanced packages as reflected in paragraph 6 above.


The amount of an employee’s lump sum redundancy payment depends on how long he/she
has been continuously employed by the University, and how the years of service relate to
the particular age bands (see below) and weekly pay. It is also recognised that service may
be classed as continuous from other employers; this should be identified in the individual’s
contract of employment. The redundancy payment is calculated by multiplying a week’s pay
(or half, or one and a half times a week’s pay, depending on age and each year of service)
by the number of completed years of service as follows:


       For each complete year of employment in which the employee was not below the
        age of 41 but was below the age of 65 – one and a half week’s pay;
       For each complete year of employment in which the employee was not below the
        age of 22 but was below the age of 41 – one week’s pay;
       For each complete year of employment in which the employee was not below the
        age of 18 but was below the age of 22 – half a week’s pay;


The above are the statutory requirements, which the University will use for calculation
purposes.


The member of staff’s current salary will be used for the purposes of calculating redundancy
payments. Where a member of staff’s salary is less than the Statutory maximum of £380
per week (from 1st October 2009), this statutory amount will be used for calculation
purposes. All calculations where the member of staff is employed on a part-time basis will
be pro-rata.


All complete continuous years of service with the University will count for purposes of the
redundancy payment. For calculation of continuous years of service only, the University will
abide by the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government, etc.)

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                                                                  MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

(Modification) Order 1999. This states that an employee is allowed to aggregate successive
periods of employment by two or more employers referred to in Schedule 2 of the Order.
The employers listed in Schedule 2 include all “new” Universities created after 1st April 1992,
local authorities, and other bodies constituted for the purpose of exercising their functions.
They do not include universities in existence prior to the 1st April 1992.


Any money earned, which is over and above a member of staff’s basic salary, will not be
used for calculation purposes, i.e. non-contractual overtime, consultancy, on call etc.


The University will consider at the time of announcing redundancies whether an enhanced
scheme could be made available to this particular round of redundancies. It is important to
recognise that the University will formally open and close redundancy rounds and therefore
there is no guarantee that any particular offers made in one round of redundancies will
automatically be offered in a second round.




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                                                                    MANAGING STAFF REDUCTIONS

Appendix 3       Statutory Minimum Periods of Notice




Period of Continuous Employment                        Minimum Notice
One month or more, but less than two years             One week
Two years or more, but less than twelve One week for each year of continuous
years                                                  employment
Twelve years or more                                   Not less than 12 weeks notice




Where an employee’s contract of employment indicates a longer period of notice, the
University will honour this.


If the University feels it is not beneficial for the employee to remain at work, then he/she may
be provided with either “garden leave” where an individual is still regarded as an employee,
receives salary, but is not expected to attend work and carry out duties), or pay in lieu of
notice.




Author: Clare Curran                               Issue 1.0                           30 January 2004
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