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My HR Knowledge Bank

Welcome to My HR Knowledge Bank.  You will find frequently asked questions on all current HR Policies and procedures, links to all policies, useful forms, guidelines and toolkits.

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As a manager, what changes do I need to consult with Trade Unions about?

You are encouraged to consult with them on any issue that may affect your employees.

However the Council undertakes to consult on all issues which will bring about changes to contracts of employment, other than where the changes proposed are non-contentious and all the individuals affected by these changes are in agreement.

Consultation may be required in a wide range of circumstances including where changes:

  • relate to discretionary aspects of the implementation of national agreements or conditions of service, which may apply across the Council
  • may potentially lead to redundancy
  • involve major changes in service structures, working practices, location of employees, etc., even when these could be seen as falling within the employment contract
  • involve introduction of, or changes to, local procedural agreements

If in doubt you should contact Human Resources for advice and support.


Can I appeal against a decision to make me redundant?

If you feel you have been unfairly selected for redundancy, you have the right to appeal to your Chief Officer, in writing within 5 working days of receipt of the formal letter notifying you that you have been selected for redundancy.

The only grounds for appeal are the misapplication of the procedure.


Can I be matched to a post of a higher grade?

No, you cannot be redeployed into a higher graded post, but you can apply for any posts that are advertised.


Do suitable alternative employment posts have to be in the same area of work to that which I currently undertake?

No, the job must be graded the same or lower (with appropriate protection) and have similar service conditions status and skill requirements.

However this can include jobs involving work of a different kind, where your skills and attributes suggest that you are capable of satisfactorily undertaking this work, or will be within a reasonable timescale following a short period of training.


How do I determine which employees should be made redundant?

Before taking any action advice should always be sought from your Human Resources representative.

Volunteers may be sought, however where this is not practicable, the selection will be made by interview using a set of selection criteria created using job descriptions and person specifications, to specify what is required in the role to deliver the service in the future.

The selection will be carried out objectively by a panel comprising a manager from the service area affected and a Human Resources specialist who is trained and understands the statutory framework in relation to redundancy.

In the event of there being a resultant pool of employees who could equally meet the skills criteria then other objective selection criteria will be used, e.g. standard of work performance or aptitude for work, attendance or disciplinary records.

In the event that it is not possible to use this mechanism, selection will be made, as a last resort on LIFO (last in first out). The length of service to be used will need to be agreed and care should be taken to ensure it does not operate in a discriminatory way.

The trade unions must be consulted on the method of selection, including the choice and weighting of criteria, with the aim of reaching agreement if possible. The employee group, from which the selection for redundancy will be made, should also be defined and agreed with trade unions.


How does a manager deal with a potential redundancy situation in their service area?

Human Resources should be contacted for advice and to ensure appropriate and agreed procedures are followed.

There is a statutory requirement to consult with the trade unions and employees, whenever a proposed restructuring or organisational change is likely to create a redundancy situation.

The consultation period should last at least 30 days before the dismissal takes effect if between 20 and 99 employees are affected at one establishment, or at least 45 days before the dismissal takes effect if 99 and over employees are affected at one establishment.

Consultations should commence with the recognised trade unions and employees affected at the earliest opportunity, thereby maximising the consultation period.

As part of this process, trade unions and employees will need to be provided with the reasons for the proposals; the numbers and descriptions of the employees whom it is proposed to dismiss; the total number of employees of each description employed by the employer at the establishment in question; the proposed method of selection; 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 to be made (other than statutory redundancy payments) to employees who may be dismissed.

The trade unions and employees will have the opportunity to put forward constructive proposals and/or alternative ways and means of avoiding redundancies, reducing the numbers affected and mitigating the consequences.

On receiving the trade unions and employees responses, the Chief Officer in consultation with the Director of Human Resources will meet with the trade unions to give due consideration to any suggestions made and provide the trade unions with a written response of the outcome. Where any suggestion is to be rejected, the reasons for rejection must be clearly explained.


I am currently reviewing the structure of my service and have been advised to consult at the earliest opportunity, what does this mean?

Consultation in this context as set out in the Managing Change Policy refers to the need to present proposals, both verbally and in writing, to all employees affected.

You should explain the background to the proposals; give appropriate Trade Union Representatives the opportunity to attend presentations and have copies of the proposals in writing, allow time for questions to be asked and clarification sought; and for Trade Union Representatives to consult their members.

Appropriate time should be allowed for employees and Trade Union Representatives to make comments, you should give serious consideration to comments received and, where they cannot be accepted, explain the reasons why; and notify any revised proposals in writing to employees and their Trade Union Representatives.

You will not be able to proceed until formal consultation has taken place.

Special consultation arrangements will apply to potential redundancies.

Your formal consultation period should be for a minimum of 10 working days.

The Council's Managing Change Policy can be accessed here.


I have an employee on a trial period, when will their salary have to be covered from my budget?

Their salary will have to be covered by the departmental budget at the end of the trial period when they are placed in post.


I have been offered a trial period in a lower graded post, will my pay be reduced when the trial period starts?

No, your grade and related earnings will be protected for the six week trial period.


I have been told that I am in a redundancy situation, will redeployment be considered?

Yes, any employee who is being displaced from their existing job, or who is unwilling to accept a change to their service conditions and/or current working practices, will, wherever possible, be made an offer of suitable alternative employment.

This would be a post on the same grade and conditions as their current post or if this is not possible a post one grade lower (with appropriate protection or compensation) may be considered.

An employee who is in a potential redundancy (or redeployment) position will be given priority over all other applicants who are not similarly affected for potentially suitable vacancies.

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