Restructuring/ Reorganisation Flowchart - Staffcentral - University of ...

Restructuring/ Reorganisation Flowchart - Staffcentral - University of ...

HR Department

September 2012

University of Brighton

Organisational Change Toolkit

Managers Guidance on Organisational Change (Restructuring/ reorganisation and measures which

can be taken to avoid (or minimise) redundancies and the relevant collective and individual

consultation processes.

Restructuring / Reorganisation Flow Chart*

TOOL 1 Writing a rationale for change

TOOL 2 Consultation Processes – Advice / Guidance

TOOL 3 Restructuring - Terminology and Processes

TOOL 4 Practical advice and guidance on the consultation process during a restructure

TOOL 5 Redeployment: Suitable alternative employment

TOOL 6 Minimising and Avoiding Redundancies

TOOL 7 Statutory provisions for consulting in redundancy situations

N.B. Please click on links to take you directly to the appropriate section in the document.

*Note: This document is mainly concerned with restructuring/reorganisation rather than managing

potential redundancy situations.

Managers are advised to seek advice and guidance from the Human Resources Department.

For potential redundancy situations the consultation and implementation processes may vary.

Further details are in cover in Tools 6 and 7.

Manager is a generic term which also includes heads of school/ dean as appropriate.


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September 2012

Flow Chart


Approval has

been granted.

I am a manager looking at restructuring or

reorganising within my area. I need to

produce a rationale/business case for these

changes for approval.

Are you confident that you know what needs

to be included?

You will need to discuss this proposal with

your line manager who will then seek SMT


I need to be sure I know exactly what has to be


- Use TOOL 1 to help identify all the appropriate

headings and contact your HR Adviser for support

and assistance as necessary.

Consultation with the Trade Unions begins. Your HR Adviser will support you

through this process.

Consultation document is required for (a) consultation at Common

Interest Group/ Joint Negotiating Committee (b) consultation with

staff. Use TOOL 2 for advice and guidance of what is required.

Produce a timetable for the implementation and consultation process

Produce a new structure chart identifying new posts, changed and

deleted posts

You will need slotting, ring fencing and selection criteria; identify any

‘at risk posts’. TOOL 3 and TOOL 4 will help you with this.

Job descriptions are required for new and changed posts

Supporting information will be needed for the grading panels for the

purpose of grading any new posts

Begin formal consultation process with staff.

TOOL 4 will give you some practical advice and guidance on the consultation


Redeployment / suitable alternatives may need to be considered.

Use TOOL 5 to assist with this.

Agreed contractual changes implemented by

Human Resources Department


Approval has not been

granted. I need to work

on my proposal.

There may be a potential redundancy situation. Use

TOOL 6 and TOOL 7 for advice on this situation.



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September 2012


Writing a rationale for change -

for consideration by a senior manager / Dean / SMT member

When a manager has identified the need to change how a service, function, system, process is

currently being carried out they should discuss this with their line manager (e.g. senior manager/

Dean/ SMT member) and if accepted in principle, they should then start to draft a rationale for

change. The manager should also seek early advice from the Human Resources Department about

how to plan for change and manage any impact on staff.

The rationale will need to clearly identify the reasons for change/costs attached to a proposed

restructure. The content should include any proposed strategic or operational changes and related

impacts on staffing and budgets. This rationale for change should be approved at a more senior (or

strategic level), prior to undertaking any future grading work or proposed formal staff consultation

with the trade unions.

These following headings are a guide for the type of planning and preparation to be considered

when preparing a ‘business case’ for organisational change, which may also arise from academic

planning and changes to the academic portfolio. The number of headings will depend on the scale

and complexity of the restructure (e.g. reviewing a school or a service is more complex than

restructuring one team). The information can be summarised and used as a basis for the trade

unions and staff formal consultation document and further guidance is given in Tool 2.

The headings are as follows:

Reasons for the proposals/change and how this supports the university’s aims and


Results of any service/ structural review, supporting information (including pre identified

internal/external drivers for change) and anticipated impacts on the service and proposed

course of action

How many roles will be affected, structure chart before and after (grades can be proposed

for costing purposes only)

Relevant management information on posts:

o arranged by 1) current affected roles and 2) proposed future roles and include

service area/ team which confirms the number and type of posts by post title, grade,

FTE, summary salary and staff on-costs. Employees names should not be included

at this stage.

Proposed selection method and detail for filling posts in the structure e.g. by service area/

team - the staff in ring fences /to be slotted/any deleted posts/ reduced grades/ vacancies/

new posts. Where there are new posts/ vacancy posts when would they be filled.

Arrangements for staff displaced to be linked to redeployment

Phasing arrangements and approximate timetable from consultation to implementation

Deleted work - where has this gone/who will cover it

Reduced grade - what work has been removed and impact on grade –likely change

Other options considered and dismissed with reasons why

Costs, savings, anticipated efficiencies, service improvements, identified impacts and

support required to implement changes (estates/ IT/ HR/ H&S/ legal/ finance), any

retirement/ redundancy costs (if relevant)

Training of managers/heads/ staff – e.g. managing change training need, other change

related training identified

Equality impact assessment – first draft currently under consideration by the manager


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September 2012

Clear project plan (key milestones/ any other approvals needed e.g. SMT, implementation

dates for starting communication and consultation with staff and the trade unions, also the

proposed start date for the new arrangements some examples are provided below.

Job descriptions/ grade and recruitment process – proposed grades and anticipated cost

Communication plan (trade unions and staff) – at least under consideration

Communication with marketing and communications: for students/ customers/ external

media (if potentially sensitive)

Any risk to university reputation/ governance issues (SMT/Board issues)


For school mergers, or structural changes within a central department, the head would be

responsible for preparing the consultation plan and managing implementation process;

working in consultation with the Human Resources Department and trade unions.

On other occasions the Vice-Chancellor has written to staff in schools advising them of the

proposal, at the same time as consulting the trade unions at formal meetings. .

Both the Human Resources Department and the trade unions have a role to play in

supporting managers and staff, where the planning process identifies a significant change to

job roles, terms and conditions of service, working practices which may need a formal

consultation process leading up to the proposed date of change.

It is also good practice to start early communication between the Human Resources

Department, trade unions, managers and staff (before the formal staff consultation process

starts) by using the university’s Common Interest Group meetings, or local opportunities in

between. The guidance in Tool 2 will provide practical guidance on how these staffing

impacts can be managed.


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September 2012


Consultation Processes – Advice / Guidance

When leading on organisational change or a restructure it is advised that the manager seeks advice

from their HR Adviser prior to drafting a formal consultation paper with regards to:

Communication - how to start communicating the need for change to staff, whether to seek

ideas and contributions about how the current arrangements can be improved (e.g. an

organisational review), or if the strategic decision has already been taken (e.g. new IT

system or way of working), how the proposed changes would be implemented at an

operational level (subject to staff consultation as needed). This could be the early stage of

consultation with staff (i.e. in overview rather than the actual impact on individuals) and may

involve other areas (schools/ central departments) although these type of are outside the

scope of this guidance. Managers are advised to contact their HR Adviser prior to starting

any communication, particularly where there are staffing impacts and further support is


The Human Resources Department can provide advice on any formal consultation and

implementation issues stated below.

Considering the need for an equality impact assessment for the restructure (ideally prior to

starting any formal collective consultation) and the documentation a manager would need to

prepare (with Human Resources Department advice).

Identifying staffing impacts on existing structures (posts and staff). Examples include

changes to job design and job descriptions (by adding or removing duties and

responsibilities), adding new posts or deleting them in the structure and identifying where

there are grading issues (for new or significantly changed existing posts).

Agreeing the proposed approach to consultation and implementation. For example how staff

will be moved into the new structure (e.g. ring fence selection or slotting), considering how

the trade unions and staff will be formally consulted and the timescales attached to any

consultation process and implementation timetable.

Starting formal consultation with the trade unions and affected staff (with advice from the

Human Resources Department throughout the process).

Drafting a Formal Staff Consultation Paper

This Tool is a guide; the exact content of the formal staff consultation report for organisational

change would be agreed with your HR Adviser. It is important that adequate information is provided

to inform the trade unions and staff of the reasons for the proposed change and how this will affect

them individually. Supporting information such as structure charts and job descriptions should be

attached to the consultation paper.

The formal consultation paper should provide relevant information which outlines the reason for the

change, what the change means for the function or service, how the structure/ways of working need

to change, the proposed staffing structure and job descriptions which will deliver this. Normally the

affected posts will only be identified as faculty/ department/ team name, post title, grade and FTE at

this stage. This is because where staff are placed “at risk” of redundancy (due to a ring fence) there

is a need to consult further and to reach agreement with the trade unions.


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September 2012

Existing staff will be identified at appropriate points for the purposes of collective consultation (e.g.

slotting first and then ring fencing) and this information would be based on the current structure


The paper would also cover how the staff will be consulted, how they can feedback their views to

the relevant manager (or the trade unions representative) and the fact that the consultation is

designed to be fair, open and meaningful. This means that managers/heads will be expected to

have considered and provided an adequate response to any issues raised by trade unions and staff

feedback in writing, before the selection stage goes ahead.

In addition equality impact assessments may need to be undertaken at an appropriate stage and

this can be mentioned in the paper. Further advice can be provided by your HR Adviser.

It is important that key timelines are included in this document to provide a framework for the

process. The three key areas are:

1) The closing date for responses and the final date/planned time period when the consultation

should aim to be completed by;

2) The proposed date for any ring fence interviews/selection process (or planned time period) and

when staff that have been slotted will have their position confirmed;

3) The final implementation date for the new structure (i.e. when the new arrangements will


The paper should also confirm that staff have the right to be accompanied or represented a trade

union representative or work colleague/person.

The timescales for consultation should be adequate to enable the trade unions and staff to consider

the proposal. As a guide two to three weeks would normally be sufficient for stages 1 and 2 (but

this could be varied by agreement with the trade unions). Any further timings would depend on the

project plan (see rationale for change) and timings would depend on each case.

Grading processes (Support Staff)

Once the content of the jobs has been identified and revised/new job descriptions produced, this

information along with a structure chart and the business case needs to go to a new/ vacant panel

to have the grades agreed. Please see attached link for the new and vacant post grading

procedure for more details

There may be situations where managers want to vary job descriptions for reasons either linked to

personal development, or role interchange/ flexibility for school/ service reasons. This can either be

included when a role becomes vacant, or as part of normal day- to-day discussions with members of


Managers are advised that they have an obligation to consult staff if varying (or updating) job

descriptions and should respond in a reasonable way to any concerns raised. Such changes are

unlikely to need a review of the grade, but the Human Resources Department can provide further

advice as needed.

Changes to job title must be agreed with individual post holders as this constitutes a contractual



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September 2012

Formal staff consultation process

Once the grades and job descriptions are complete the next stage is for the manager to plan the

formal consultation process with the trade unions and staff and the selection arrangements whereby

staff can be moved into the new structure. The manager would need to agree the ring fence and

slotting arrangements with the Human Resources Department and then summarise the details into

a brief consultation paper to start formal collective consultation with the trade unions and staff. This

would normally be shared with the trade unions at Common Interest Group meetings/ Joint

Negotiating Committee for consultation purposes. The Human Resources Department can advise

further, if the dates do not coincide other arrangements would be made to consult the trade unions.

Further details of the principles and terminology used to determine the staffing arrangements are

covered in Tool 3.


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September 2012

Terminology - A Guide to Definitions


Restructuring - Terminology and Processes

The most practical way to plan and manage a restructure is to apply a top down approach,

identifying posts that are likely to be affected by the proposed changes. This tool provides a guide to

the terminology which is likely to be used in the formal staff consultation paper.

Phasing – top down approach

This can be applied, depending on the extent of the change, whereby the new structure is filled in

phases which normally start with the senior positions first. This top down approach enables the

principle of prior consideration to be applied and ensures that any ring fence and promotion

opportunities are managed in a fair and consistent way.

Slotting – no change to posts

This would be applied to posts which can be matched by reviewing the old and new structures by

identifying where there are the same number of posts, with the same grade and content. In these

cases the post’s duties would remain largely unaffected by the change. This can be assessed by

reviewing the main areas of responsibility and selection criteria in the job description. If there was a

significant match between the old and new post - slotting would be applied. If the role has changed

in a minor way this could be reassessed by a grading panel.

The grade would normally be the same. If the job is deemed to have changed substantially and the

post was assessed at a higher grade this would be a promotion opportunity which must be covered

by a process of selection, or a post re-grading depending on the circumstances. This would be

agreed as part of the organisational change process.

Staff who are slotted should be consulted in the same way as other affected staff and they would be

transferred to the new structure (without a ring fence or selection process) and would be confirmed


Any contractual changes should be confirmed in writing by the Human Resources Department

ideally before the transfer, or at least within one month of change. Examples of a change would be

an impact on pay, working arrangements, revised job title, place of work, faculty/school/ department.

Job descriptions should ideally be reviewed soon after the change to ensure this accurately reflects

the role.

Ring fence – pools (e.g. more people than posts)

Normally applies where there are broadly similar posts in the old and new structure (e.g. where

grade and essential criteria of the posts are the same/similar) and there is a need to limit who can

be included.

For example where there are more people than posts for roles at the same/ similar level, or type of

generic role within a relevant service area e.g. Administration Assistant, Human Resources

Assistant, Technician. A ring fence would be normally be identified by post or a group of posts.

The ring fence would encompass both full and part-time permanent staff. Fixed term and temporary

staff will be included if the end date of their contract crosses over the date of the proposed new



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September 2012

The implications of a ring fence are to start to place staff “at risk” of redundancy (as an early stage)

until they are selected to join the new structure. This may create some staff anxiety and

managers/heads are advised to seek early advice from their HR Adviser about ring fencing/

selection arrangements prior to starting any formal trade unions/ staff consultation.

Expressing a preference during the selection process

As part of the selection process linked to either ring fencing, or promotion opportunities, staff would

be expected to evidence how they meet the selection criteria by completing a brief pro-forma and

discussing this at interview. Managers/heads are expected to interview and assess the member of

staff in the normal way. The maximum number of roles staff can be considered for would have to be

agreed as part of the consultation process and applied consistently through the restructure.

Any new or vacant posts would normally be held back until the end of the restructure unless there

was an appropriate reason to fill the post earlier. Relevant examples would be to accommodate a

displaced member of staff, there was an urgent business need to fill the post or the post was

outside the scope of the review.

Staff eligible to apply for a promotion would be identified as part of a ring fence consultation

arrangement. This would normally apply to staff in the prior consideration group within one grade

below the higher graded role. Any arrangement beyond this would depend on the individual

circumstances of the restructure.

This would exclude staff who were slotted who could apply at the end once any vacant posts were

advertised. If a higher graded employee was displaced following an earlier part of the restructuring

selection exercise, they may be considered before lower graded staff (as part of a ring fence/ prior

consideration process - see below), before a redeployment/ finding alternative employment exercise

was started.

Competitive interview process - new posts and promotions

This process would be applied to new posts or promotion opportunities. New posts can be

advertised in the normal way at the end of implementation. Posts which are promotion opportunities

would normally be advertised internally first and this would be carried out as part of the restructure.

Prior consideration for staff who are likely to be placed at risk of redundancy as a result of


This principle applies whereby staff with the appropriate skills and experience who are “at risk” of

being displaced at their level/ grade, or have not been successful in securing a post following a ring

fence exercise are given prior consideration above other internal staff. This is particularly important

for new posts, or promotion opportunities where there may be further competition.

These staff cannot automatically apply for lower graded posts in the structure due to the impact on

lower graded staff. If they are not successful in a ring fence exercise they could be considered for

new posts in the revised structure, or be provided with support in finding redeployment, or suitable

alternative employment within the university.

Where redeployment is an outcome, salary protection may be applied depending on the

circumstances. If there is no successful outcome of the redeployment exercise, their future

employment with the university would be “at risk” and they may be dismissed in accordance with the

university’s Suspension and Dismissal procedure.


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September 2012

Deleted posts or removing duties from posts

Where an activity needs to cease this may result in a post being deleted or a post’s job description

and grade having to be reassessed by a grading panel. If this situation arises managers/heads

should seek early advice from the Human Resources Department. Examples of relevant changes

would be discontinuing an academic programme, or changing the way a service is delivered due to

changes in working practices.

Staff who are ‘Acting up’ (internal secondment/other)

Staff who are acting up into a higher graded role (or carrying out a similar internal arrangement)

would normally be considered for roles based on their substantive grade/ posts. Exceptions to this

would be where an employee has been carrying out the role for over two years (with continuous

service) and they were recruited into the role following an advertisement and interview. Further

advice can be obtained from the HR Adviser.

Requests from staff: opportunities for change

Where appropriate, restructures may provide staff with the opportunity to request a reduction in

hours, early retirement, flexible or phased retirement. Requests should be dealt with sensitively and

with due consideration including the cost and benefit to the university, the number of requests and

the needs of the university. The Human Resources Department would work with employees and

managers/heads where requests are made.


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September 2012


Practical advice and guidance on the consultation process during a


Individual consultation:

Individual consultation with staff during a restructure is essential. This is because a planned

restructure may impact on a member of staff’s terms and conditions of employment (examples of

this are changes in job title/ job description/ location/line reports, etc). An employer is legally

obliged to consult with staff on all contractual changes and to try any agree these by consensus.

If a line manager does not carry out such consultation, and the change is deemed to be imposed

unilaterally, this may lead to a grievance, or the risk of the member of staff claiming constructive

dismissal against the university. Should a re-structure lead to the individual being made redundant,

without appropriate consultation, the university would be at risk of a claim of unfair dismissal.

Consultation involves the line manager explaining to each member of staff reasons why a

restructure is required and to give the member of staff the opportunity to express their views, to

raise any questions, and to discuss how the changes are likely to affect them personally.

Consulting with staff means considering what they have to say and not dismissing it out of hand.

Genuine engagement with the member of staff is required.

There are no set rules regarding the numbers of meetings that need to be held. What is appropriate

will depend on the scope and complexity of the restructure. Typically, this would involve the

following steps:

An initial meeting with staff to announce the restructure. At this meeting, you would set out

the background and explain why this was necessary. Describe the differences between the

current and proposed structure and how it would affect your department/ school.

Staff should be encouraged, at the meeting to put forward any suggestions that they may

have. They can ask any questions or raise any concerns, although it would be prudent to

deal with any individual concerns at the follow up individual meetings.

In individual meetings with staff to discuss their options and how decisions for ring fencing/

slotting/ etc were reached and the criteria for selection in any competitive processes.

Planning for interviews and selection (Tool 3 provides further information).

Once all the slotting in/ interviews have been completed, and the selection process is

completed, ensure that all individual members of staff are aware of how they fit into the new


Following this make an announcement to the team giving them the outcomes and setting out

a time table for implementing the changes.

Human Resources must be informed of all contractual changes agreed through the

consultation period and the Human Resources Department will formally confirm these

changes to staff and arrange for any post changes to be implemented. Please provide a

copy of an updated structure.


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September 2012


Redeployment: Suitable alternative employment

The university is obliged to take reasonable steps to find alternative employment for staff who may

otherwise be dismissed by reason of redundancy as a consequence of any restructure. Failure to

do so could make a dismissal unfair. The Redeployment Procedure is available on Staff central.

Any dismissal by reason of redundancy, expiry and non-renewal of a fixed term contract would only

apply after consultation and would follow the university’s Suspension and Dismissal procedures.

Staff should be made aware when their future employment is at risk and what steps can be taken to

mitigate this (e.g. redeployment). They also have the right to be accompanied by a person of their

choosing at any formal meetings (e.g. a trade union representative).

The Human Resources Department can provide further advice about practice and procedures on


Tool 6 is a brief overview of the measures that the university can take to avoid or minimise

redundancies. This guidance is based on the “Acas Digest on Job Security” which stemmed from

the JNCHES national pay negotiations (2009-10), a copy of which is also included.

Tool 7 relates to the provisions required for the statutory consultation process (both collective and

individual) and the related timescales.

Further advice about how to manage a potential redundancy situation and plan the consultation and

implementation process will be provided by the Human Resources Department.


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September 2012


Minimising and Avoiding Redundancies

1. Local measures which can be taken to avoid or minimise redundancy

The university will seek to manage its staffing levels by using strategic workforce planning, whereby

the faculties, schools and departments seek to match the level of academic, research and support

staff they need in order to meet existing commitments and future plans. This provides some

flexibility and avoids the need to reduce staffing levels and as well as manage areas such as natural

wastage and staff turnover, retirements, external funding (e.g. fixed term contracts), staff

development and succession planning. However given the uncertain nature of HE (external funding

and demand for teaching, research and related support staff), this can be difficult to predict in the

long term and in some cases the university needs for posts may be outweighed by budget or other


When these situations arise and it is expected there is a need to manage (or reduce staff/ posts)

and the following options can be used to try and avoid (or to minimise) potential job losses. This

could also include seeking links with partner institutions, including universities is the surrounding

counties (South East) for recruitment purposes, which may help identify external recruitment

opportunities when academic and research staff may need to be redeployed. The individuals would

need to apply in their own right but the university may provide some support in preparing the


The following measures which can be considered are:

Using natural wastage (i.e. staff turnover)

A recruitment freeze (whereby the work is redistributed to other posts, or is ceased). If

internal only recruitment is retained, this can be used to support internal movement of staff

including staff seeking redeployment.

Review the scope for making savings in non-staff budgets, or seeking alternative funding in

the case to funded projects.

The need for overtime working may be reviewed (stopping or reducing)

The continued use of short term workers (e.g. agency, casual or external contractors) may

be reviewed

Temporary contracts may not be extended

Opportunities for redeployment and retraining

Opportunities for retraining staff whose skills are no longer needed but they could be

consulted and moved to another part of the institution

The use of secondments

These are the normal measures which can be considered. If further measures were needed

additional consideration would be given to opportunities for reduced hours; job share; sabbaticals;

voluntary redundancy/ early retirement and these would be packaged as needed for each situation.

2. The Acas Digest on Job Security and measures which can be taken to avoid or minimise


Acas Digest on Job Security


Acas has facilitated a series of meetings between UCEA and the trade unions. At

these meetings, the trade unions have expressed their concerns and their desire for

a national approach on the handling of job security. UCEA has explained the


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September 2012

constraints upon its mandate, which is to seek to negotiate a national pay agreement

to apply to staff covered by the single pay spine; it has no mandate on behalf of the

HE employers to enter into a national agreement in the area of job security and the

handling of potential redundancies in HEIs. The management of staffing matters, be

it in recruitment, promotion or in the handling of any staff reductions is a matter for

each HEI as an independent employer.

This paper presents some of the statutory requirements and also outlines additional points for

employers and employee representatives to consider as appropriate. These points have been

raised in discussions; they are not all shared.

A Joint Acas and CIPD guidance note is drawn on here to highlight three key points,

following which particular perspectives are added from either UCEA or the trade

unions which are the specific viewpoints of those parties.

1. Redundancy Handling booklet, Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service, April 2009

2. How to manage your workforce in a recession: a joint Acas and CIPD guidance note, 2009.

Key point 1 – Consult with your workforce and their representatives

UCEA notes the following from the Acas / CIPD guidance note as relevant for

HEIs’ consideration when dealing with collective redundancies:

Consult representatives about ways to avoid redundancies, reducing the number to be

dismissed and mitigating the consequences of any redundancies. The consultation must

take place with a view to reaching an agreement.

Recognise the difficult but key role that representatives have to play.

In addition, UCEA suggests consideration is given to:

Informing wider stakeholders, including student representatives

Engaging in dialogue with local TU representatives to discuss long-term financial

sustainability, organisational change and workforce planning

Ensuring that there is a good understanding of a particular institution’s context and


The legal requirements of a collective redundancy consultation are that the

employer provides certain information, including:

Reasons for the proposals

Numbers and descriptions of employees whom it is proposed to dismiss as redundant

Total number of employees of that description employed by the employer at the

establishment in question

Proposed method of selecting the employees who are at risk of dismissal

Proposed method of carrying out the dismissals, with due regard to any procedure, including

the period over which the dismissals are to take effect.

(Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, s188)

In addition, the trade unions suggest HEIs consider the following points:

Conduct equality impact assessments and consult unions to ensure prior consideration on

whether the proposals have a disproportionate effect on either gender, black and ethnic

minority staff, disabled staff, and staff of different ages

Carry out individual consultations with those staff affected (ensuring staff are aware they are

entitled to be accompanied by a trade union representative)

Advise on the proposed method of calculating the amount of any redundancy payments to

be made to employees who may be dismissed.


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September 2012

The trade unions also suggest that information beyond the statutory

requirements may be helpful, such as:

Statistics on staff turnover for previous years

Lists of vacancies on a regular basis

Details of the institution’s current financial position

Details of the redundancy appeals procedure.

Key point 2 – think long term

UCEA notes the following from the Acas / CIPD guidance note as relevant for

HEIs’ consideration when dealing with collective redundancies:

Think creatively about how to reduce employment costs, such as new ways of working and

work reorganisation.

Remember that making people redundant and recruiting again later when the market picks

up is expensive.

Protect and make the most of the training budget – focus resources on key areas such as

improving line management capability and customer service.

Bear in mind your long-term reputation.

In addition, the trade unions suggest HEIs consider the following points:

Inform and consult with the trade unions at the earliest opportunity

Seek all possible opportunities for redeployment (including, where necessary, retraining) to

other parts of the organisation

Provide careers advice and training in transferrable skills, where practicable

Seek alternative funding, e.g. where funding for a particular project has expired.

Key point 3 – think about ways to minimise redundancies

UCEA notes the following drawn from the Acas / CIPD guidance note as

relevant for HEIs’ consideration when dealing with collective redundancies:

Take advantage of natural wastage and/or offer voluntary redundancy terms – redundancies

can have a serious negative impact on morale and performance.

Cut back recruitment and review your use of temporary staff.

Retrain employees whose skills are no longer in demand and redeploy employees to other

parts of the organisation where possible.

Reduce or eliminate overtime working.

Consider short-time working, temporary lay-offs or sabbaticals.

Encourage staff to suggest how jobs can be done more efficiently and costs saved.

In addition, the trade unions suggest HEIs consider the following points:

Try to make savings in non-staff budgets and to achieve any unavoidable reduction of staff

levels by natural wastage

Review the use of external contractors, where practicable

Consider volunteers for part-time working or job-sharing

Consider volunteers for redundancy including, where practicable, from areas of work where

other potentially redundant staff possess transferable experience and skills to enable

possible redeployment

Consider ring-fencing vacancies, where this is practicable, to internal applicants otherwise

likely to be made redundant

Establish a redeployment procedure that ensures staff at risk of redundancy are aware of

and can be considered for suitable posts [Note -The university has a redeployment policy for

this purpose.]

Minimise potential redundancies by such means as utilising transferable skills and

maximising redeployment options. Including the potential for retraining.


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September 2012


Statutory provisions for consulting in redundancy situations

Where the university is faced with a potential redundancy situation there are certain statutory

provisions it has to comply with under S.188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations

(Consolidation) Act 1992 and subsequent legislation. The statutory provisions are that any

proposals should be communicated to the trade unions as early as possible, with a view to reaching


The main provisions of the legislation are:

avoiding the dismissals;

reducing the numbers of employees to be dismissed; and

mitigating the consequences of the dismissals.

For the purposes of statutory consultation the manager (as advised by the Human Resources

Department) will need to disclose in writing to the trade union representatives (and affected

employees) the following information:

The reasons for the proposed redundancies;

The numbers and descriptions of staff whom it is proposed to dismiss as redundant;

The total number of staff of that description employed at the establishment;

The proposed method of selecting the staff who may be selected for redundancy;

The proposed method of carrying out the dismissals, having due regard to any agreed

procedure and the proposed timing of them;

The proposed method of calculating the amount of any redundancy payments to be made to

staff who may be dismissed.

In addition further information would need to be provided on agency workers (namely the number of

agency workers, the areas of the university they are working in and the type of work they are

covering) in redundancy situations. Further advice should be sought from the Human Resources

Department on these issues.

The above information should be delivered to the trade union representatives, or sent by post to an

address notified by the employer (employees), or to the trade unions main or head office. The trade

union consultation should then start at the earliest possible opportunity.

The purpose of collective consultation is to consult trade union representatives of any affected

employees in terms of the proposed dismissals and any measures connected to these dismissals.

Therefore collective consultation should include any ways of avoiding dismissals, reducing the

number of employees to be dismissed and mitigating the effects of dismissal.

Individual consultation with affected staff also needs to be carried out and these staff have the right

to be accompanied by a trade union representative.


HR Department

September 2012

Local procedures for alternatives to redundancy such as the rights of appeal against selection for

redundancy (and/or appeal against dismissal due to redundancy), redeployment, time off to look for

work, provisions for training and annual leave will also be included at relevant times during the

consultation and implementation process.

Consultation should be carried out with a view to reaching agreement with the trade union

representatives (even where there are volunteers). Failure to consult may lead to a complaint to the

Employment Tribunal, which if upheld will require the university to pay a protective award up to 90

days’ pay in certain circumstances.

The timescales for collective consultation are:

Where between 20 and 99 redundancies are proposed at one establishment within 30

days, (at least 30 days before the first dismissal is to take effect); and

Where 100 or more redundancies are to arise at one establishment within 90 days, at least

90 days before the first dismissal is to take effect.

Other relevant information

The university recognises two trade unions (Unison and UCU) for the purpose of collective

consultation for proposed redundancies and the dialogue would normally start during the

formal trade union meetings (consultative groups or joint negotiating committee)

Where the number of redundancies is above 20 employees the Human Resources

Department will need to notify BIS via a Section 188 statutory notice.

Where less than 20 employees are to be made redundant, the general principle of consulting

in good time would be applied which means as early as possible.

There are other areas of good practice which can be included in the consultation information and

further details are available in the Acas Code on Redundancy Handling.


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