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Sally Baines

Responsible Area: Approval Information:

Human Resources/Organisational Development Date Approved: 2nd October 2006 COMMITTEE:Trust Board Approved By:



Print Name


Version No. Approved: Review Date:

Reference to Standards for Better Health Domain Core/Development standard Performance indicators

October 2007

Example : Department of Health 2004 Standards for Better Health First domain Safety Fourth domain Patient focused Seventh domain Public Health Department of Health 2004 Example: Core Standard C4 C13B C24 1. 2.

(Key measure(s) to demonstrate policy, protocol or guideline is working (minimum 1, maximum 3)


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Policy Statement It is the policy of the PCT to provide security of employment for every member of its workforce having due regard for the need to maintain and improve efficiency and levels of patient care. Careful planning in the adoption of new working practices and technology best provides such security of employment. The parties to this agreement will, therefore, strive to cope with fluctuations in required staffing levels by seeking to avoid redundancies, through regular consultation about staffing plans and the provision of sufficient time and effort to finding alternative employment for surplus employees. When jobs are affected by changes the PCT will treat all employees in a fair and consistent manner which ensures the maintenance of the highest possible standards of patient care. It is obviously of the utmost importance that employees are fully advised of the rationale and pace of change and have genuine opportunities to influence those decisions that affect them. This Policy should be read in conjunction with the procedure and management guidance of the handling of organisation change and the security of employment.


Values Consistent and sensitive handling of employees and staffing matters is important. Purposeful, consistent and sensitive handling of employee’s anxieties and concerns about their futures is key to maintaining commitment and is demonstrated by the following values: a) Fairness: Employees have a right to be treated fairly, with courtesy and respect. Local policies to deal with change will, therefore, take full account of the need for equality of employment opportunity. Support programmes for employees should be geared to addressing both personal, as well as professional, concerns. b) Consistency: Consistency in managing change is essential if employees are not to feel disadvantaged. Managers should play a key role in ensuring a consistent and measured pace to change and should be involved in the timing and criteria of key decisions on staffing arrangements, selection procedures and, where necessary, redundancies. c) Openness: Employees will be briefed fully and informed to help them to contribute to the management of change and enable them to make important decisions about their future. d) Integrity: Integrity, as a public service value, should be observed fully at all stages of the management of change. Decisions about employment matters should be based firmly on legislative requirements and relevant local or national agreements.

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Review of Policy This policy will be reviewed within 3 years of implementation.

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Introduction The PCT will strive to cope with fluctuations in required staffing levels by effective management and seeking to avoid redundancies. This will be done through regular consultation. Any restructuring will be done through meaningful consultation will employees and their accredited staff representatives.




Redundancy There is a redundancy if the ending of an individual’s employment with the organisation is wholly or mainly as a result of one of two factors. These are: •

That the PCT has ceased or intends to cease carrying on the business or providing the service in which the individual was employed; or has ceased or intends to cease carrying on that business or providing that service in the place where the individual was employed; Or

That the requirements of the PCT for an individual to carry out work of a particular kind, or for an individual to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the individual was employed has ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.

Redundancies can, therefore, arise in a variety of ways:


An entire business or service or a particular workplace is closed down;

A job disappears, as there is no longer any need for the work to be performed;

There is a reduction in the PCT’s requirements for employees to do their work. This may arise from there being less work or from the need to have fewer employees.

Reorganisation Reorganisation, or organisational change, means any structural or managerial change in the organisation of the health service provision.

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The Difference between Redundancy and Reorganisation Some changes introduced in a reorganisation can cause redundancies. There will be no redundancy if there is a reallocation of work between existing employees because the work and number of employees needed to do the work stays the same. However, where the reorganisation results in changes to terms and conditions of employees, formal consultation with individuals to attempt to reach agreement about the changes is also a requirement in order to avoid unfair dismissal claims. If the reorganisation is on a large scale then the nature or the work undertaken may alter significantly and/or fewer employees may be required. In this situation, there is redundancy. Where a reorganisation takes place as a direct result of a site being closed or as a result of a streamlining of services to meet the same demand with fewer employees, then there will be a redundancy.


Safeguarding Jobs – Service Transfer Issues of organisational change which involve the transfer of services and staff to another employing body will be progressed in accordance with current employment legislation. This would involve working within the scope of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment Regulations 1981 – TUPE). Information and advice regarding this legislation can be obtained from the human resource department. In the event that TUPE is not deemed to apply, the PCT will use its best endeavours to safeguard the employment rights of its staff.




The Requirement to Consult All organisations have a legal obligation to: ƒ

Inform and consult staff organisations representing the employees who it is proposed to make redundant, and to consult the individuals affected.


To inform and consult the individuals affected. The duty to inform and consult appropriate representatives depends on the number of employees it is proposed to make redundant.

If 100 or more redundancies are proposed, consultation must begin at least 90 days before the first dismissal takes place. If more than 20 but less than 100 redundancies are proposed, consultation must begin at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes place. If less than 20 redundancies are proposed, the PCT will inform and consult individual employees as

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appropriate. The figures mentioned could be subject to alteration in the event of legislative changes. Notwithstanding the PCT’s legal obligations, staff organisations will be consulted over any redundancy proposal at the earliest possible opportunity in the interests of good industrial relations. 3.2

The Purpose of Consultation Effective consultation is likely to improve the quality of management decisions, increase commitment and co-operation from employees and contribute to good employee relations. The PCT Partnership Forum should be advised of all organisational change impacting upon staffing arrangements. More meaningful and detailed discussion will take place between appropriate staff side representatives, service managers, human resource managers and staff involved in the change. The purpose of consulting with appropriate representatives is to try to:


Reach agreement on ways to avoid redundancies;

Reduce the numbers to be made redundant;

Minimise the consequences of the redundancies;

Agree selection criteria for redundancy.

The Consultation Process Consultation must begin at the earliest possible opportunity. Consultation should start when it is clear that any organisational change or other developments may result in some employees being declared redundant, even though the identity of the individuals affected may not be known at the time the decision was taken. There is a proposal from the moment that the decision is reached even though the proposal may not be finalised. The PCT Partnership Forum should be advised of all organisational change impacting upon staffing arrangements. More meaningful and detailed discussion will take place between appropriate staff side representatives, service managers, human resource managers and staff involved in the change. To assist effective consultation the PCT will, as a minimum, provide representatives with the following information: •

The reasons for the proposals;

If appropriate the numbers and descriptions of the employees whom it is proposed to make redundant;

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The total number of employees employed by the PCT at the site or in the service in question;

If appropriate the proposed method of selecting the employees who may be made redundant;

If appropriate the proposed method of notifying the employees of the redundancies including the period over which the redundancies will take effect;

If appropriate the proposed method of calculating any redundancy payments to be made to those who may be made redundant;

Details of staffing levels in the area(s) affected by the proposals. This should include information on the numbers of employees in the areas, broken down by grade and department;

Any other relevant information that would assist the consultation process.

As the PCT is a single employer, the number of proposed redundancies has to be centrally collated, which will enable the PCT to comply with the statutory obligations relating to notification to the Secretary of State for Employment. If during the course of consultation, proposals about how to avoid or minimise the consequences of redundancies are acceptable to the PCT, the PCT will consult individual employees whom the proposals may affect before agreeing to them as the proposals may involve changes to an individual’s contract of employment, and perhaps redeployment. In addition to consultation with appropriate representatives, the affected individuals must also be consulted. Failure to do so could render the PCT liable to unfair dismissal claims.


Identifying Potential Redundancies


Any proposal for organisational change or other development should be carefully considered so that potential surpluses of employees are identified at the earliest possible opportunity. Any report concerning the proposal should incorporate details of the staffing implications.


Identification of Employees at Risk of Redundancy a) The first step in identifying posts for potential redundancy will be to question whether the proposals fulfil the definition of redundancy as stated in paragraph 2 and in the relevant legislation. b) The second step is to determine, in consultation with the staff organisations, the pool of employees who are considered to be at risk, and from which the selection for redundancy will be made.

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Methods of Avoiding Redundancy The following measures will be utilised in an effort to avoid or minimise redundancies. Whilst it is recognised that not every measure will be appropriate to every situation, it is expected that all the options set out will be actively explored before any employee is dismissed on the grounds of redundancy


Workforce Planning and Planning the New Organisation It is a management responsibility to determine the size and composition of the workforce needed to deliver safe and efficient healthcare. By carefully developing a strategy for managing human resources, disruption to service provision can be minimised, job losses avoided or reduced and change implemented successfully. Consultation will take place between the PCT and staff organisations on the implications for employees which may arise from restructures, the adoption or development of new or revised business practices, the introduction of new technology, or changed funding or other economic circumstances, with a view to identifying any employee surpluses far enough in advance to provide sufficient time for the planning of alternative employment. The PCT agrees to provide the trade unions with detailed information as soon as it is reasonably practicable, on planned reorganisations, including structural reorganisation, the planned introduction of revised working practices and/or new technology and the staffing implications of these. Detailed interviews with every employee affected by change should take place to identify preferences for future employment (with representation if requested). This should include the opportunity to express an interest in early retirement/redundancy. Expressions of interest, however, does not mean the PCT will not attempt to redeploy the individual, nor should the expression of interest be considered as a decision by that individual. Equally expressions of interest may at any time be rejected by the PCT.


Appointment Process (Restructuring of Services) •

In any restructure as many staff as possible will be ‘slotted in’ to posts within the new structure.

Where the duties and responsibilities of a post in the new structure are recognisable as broadly similar to an existing post ie 60% or more of the new post reflects an existing role then the new post is declared as an ‘obvious successor’ post. Post slotting in will only be appropriate where the post is at the same grade.

Any new or redesigned post should be evaluated and graded by a Human Resources Manager. If the post has higher level responsibilities and is

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deemed to warrant a higher grade than the existing post/s the individuals may be ringfenced for consideration for these posts through a selection process in the first instance.


If the number of legitimate applications for slotting in to obvious successor posts exceeds the number of new posts available then all of the obvious successor posts will be treated as competitive posts. Competition will be limited to the legitimate applicants (legitimate applications will be determined using the broadly similar criteria).

If new roles demanding different skills and attributes are established as part of the restructure, then such posts may be subject to open competition. This may include external competition.

Once an employee has been slotted in to a post in the new structure, they will not be eligible to apply for other/and or higher graded posts except the ones subject to open competition.

In the interest of maintaining employment it may be necessary to direct staff towards posts requiring significant changes in duties and responsibilities. Training and refresher training will be provided. Trial periods, at no cost to the employee, will be allowed.

Matching People to Posts Where a surplus of employees has been identified, consultation will take place to consider what steps can be taken to avoid redundancies. These will include a review of turnover rates, overtime being worked, the possible introduction of restrictions on recruitment, a review of the use being made of contract staff, the consideration of retirements and early retirements and the possibility of redeploying and/or retraining employees likely to be affected. Where a surplus remains after taking the above steps, there will be a process of competitive slotting in against predetermined and agreed criteria which will be documented on a person specification (as outlined in 5.2). The responsibility for determining a fair selection criteria for redundancy rests with the management who will liaise closely with the human resource team. Every reasonable effort will be made, however, to agree selection criteria in advance of any decision to declare redundancies. The criteria should be fair and objective, and should include: •

Length of service.

Evidence of standard of performance and ability

Attendance record (to be based upon consideration of the overall employment record).

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The criteria must not discriminate against employees with physical or mental disabilities. The needs of the service must be balanced against the wishes of the employees concerned. In particular, the aim should be to ensure that the essential and desirable expertise that exists within the PCT is retained. The pool of employees will be restricted to employees at equivalent grade of the post concerned and are substantially based within the service to be organised. Efforts should be made to avoid a cascade effect of appointments which disadvantage the lower graded. Unplaced individuals will be helped as far as reasonably practicable to find alternative employment in the PCT or failing that, with other NHS organisations. 5.4

Redeployment a)

General Considerations

Where there is an excess of employees in the new structure every effort will be made to offer alternative employment at the same or equivalent grade/salary scale. Where this is not possible, and employees opt for a post carrying a lower grade/salary scale, the current pay and conditions of the member of staff will be protected in accordance with the PCT protection of pay and terms of condition agreement. Excess travel expenses in accordance to the Whitley Council agreement, will be payable to employees who change their work location as a result of redeployment. To assist the redeployment process, the normal vacancy advertising processes may be suspended. No vacancy or new post will be open to competition internally or externally until employees at risk of redundancy and available for redeployment have been considered for such posts (see 5.4c At Risk Register). Employees at risk of redundancy and seeking redeployment will be offered appropriate in house/external career counselling and support, including assistance with preparing curriculum vitae, completing application forms and interview skills training. b)

Identifying Preferences for Redeployment

Employees at risk of redundancy and available for redeployment, with the support of a trade union representative or friend, if required, should be interviewed by the manager/HR representative to establish: •

Ability to work any other hours or at other locations;

Options for alternative employment;

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• c)

Personal constraints. At Risk Register

A register of employees at risk will be maintained within the human resources department and employees will be notified when they are entered on to the register. The register will contain information on the individual’s preferences for redeployment in addition to basic personal information. Employees on the register will be advised of suitable posts elsewhere in the PCT. Where appropriate, posts will be advertised on a restricted basis to those employees on the register only. d)

Interviews for Alternative Posts

A selection interview is guaranteed whenever the individual meets the essential requirements of the person specification, or could do so within a three month period. That interview will take place in advance of any open competition for the post. Employees will be interviewed against the person specification and the most suitable candidate will be offered the post. Unsuccessful candidates will have a right to request the reasons for non-selection. If the manager is unable to make an appointment they must be able to justify this decision before the recruitment process can continue. e)

Suitable Alternative Employment

Suitable alternative employment will take in to account pay, working hours, status, grade, the way the work is carried out and location. The individual’s circumstances will be taken in to account as will the PCT’s protection arrangements. If any employee unreasonably rejects an offer of suitable alternative employment and there is no other alternative employment, or any reasonable prospect of alternative employment in the near future, the employee will jeopardise their entitlement to redundancy compensation or pay protection. Any individual employee aggrieved by a decision as to the suitability of alternative employment may appeal in accordance with the PCT’s grievance procedure. f)

Trial Periods

A trial period is required if any offer of suitable alternative employment is made to an employee who would otherwise be made redundant. If an employee reasonably believes either during or at the end of a trial period that the post is not suitable alternative employment then they should inform

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the manager/Head of Human Resources. If the Manager agrees the individual will not forfeit their right to redundancy. If the manager believes, either during or at the end of a trial period that the posts is not suitable alternative employment for that individual they should arrange to meet with the individual on a formal basis with Trade Union and HR representation to discuss this. The manager should clearly state the objective and justifiable reasons for their decision. The individual will retain their right to redundancy. In the event that the manager believes the post is unsuitable alternative employment but the individual disagrees with this assessment then every effort will be made to resolve this formally. If this is not resolved then the individual should address this through the grievance procedure. If the manager believes a post does constitute suitable alternative employment but the individual disagrees then every effort will be made to resolve this formally. If this is not resolved satisfactorily the employee should address this through the grievance procedure. Where the manager continues to feel they can justify the reasonableness of this post they should state this in writing to the individual informing them that refusal of this offer will forfeit their right to redundancy. 5.5

Voluntary Redundancy and Early Retirement Before compulsory redundancies, applications from employees for voluntary redundancy and/or early retirement would be considered. Consideration will always be influenced by the financial viability of the PCT and exigencies of the service. Financial information will be provided to employees when a possibility exists in respect of voluntary redundancy being approved. The right is reserved to advise employees and representatives wherever voluntary severance will not be considered in any issue or organisational change and subsequently financial information will not be provided. If voluntary severance is deemed appropriate in any issue of organisational change this will take precedence over compulsory redundancy. It should be noted that voluntary redundancy negates eligibility for unemployment benefit.


Compulsory Redundancy


Notice Periods Where compulsory redundancies remain unavoidable, having exhausted all of the measures set out above, the employee affected will be seen by their line manager and human resources manager. Employees will have the right to be accompanied at this meeting by a trade union representative or friend not acting in a legal capacity. Employees will be given the maximum possible notice of dismissal. As a minimum, the notice period will be:

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Either -

the contractual notice period as detailed in their statement of particulars of employment or pay in lieu

or -

One week’s notice for each year of reckonable continuous service up to a maximum of twelve weeks or pay in lieu.

Individuals will receive the most beneficial notice period under the above options. Individuals will have the option to receive pay in lieu of notice but must note that having received this they cannot accept an alternative post within the NHS until one month after having been made redundant ie the date of termination. 6.2

Facilities for Employees under Notice of Termination Employees who are under notice of termination due to redundancy will be: •

Given reasonable paid time off work to look for new employment and/or make arrangements for training to assist them to find new employment;

Given advice and guidance on job searching and applying for jobs;

Offered counselling and support where necessary;

Released from the PCT’s employment early (without loss of benefits) if they are successful in finding a new job with another employer.

It should be noted that efforts will continue to be made to find alternative, suitable employment for employees whilst they are under notice of termination due to redundancy. 6.3

Staff Support Many employees may require help to make the change. Local programmes of support should be developed and resourced to meet the appropriate personal and professional needs of employees. a)

Individual counselling should be made available on a confidential basis to help employees to cope with the implication of change.


Secondment opportunities for unplaced employees should be identified, considered and discussed with the individual where this is in the best interest of both the organisation and that individual.

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Appropriate career counselling and support, including CV training, interview and self-marketing skills, should be available, if necessary to all affected employees during the period of change.

Re-Training Where appropriate, employees should be offered the opportunity to undertake new roles and responsibilities and will be given the opportunity of appropriate training.


Redundancy Payments Employees made redundant, whether by volunteering or being compulsorily declared redundant, will receive a severance payment calculated in accordance with the relevant Whitley Council regulations.




Responsibility of the line manager It is the responsibility of the line manager to:


consult with their staff and staff representatives regarding any change within the work environment that may affect the employment of the staff.

arrange and hold one to one consultation meetings with individual members of staff where an individual is affected by organisational change.

discuss any proposed changes and their implications with the human resources department.

consider and seek alternative employment for any members of staff affected by organisational change.

confirm in writing the outcomes of any meetings and formal offers made to employees.

Responsibility of the employees It is the responsibility of the employee to: •

attend any consultation meetings as requested.

actively consider any amendments to their post or offers of redeployment where appropriate.

outline any preferences for redeployment and personal constraints for alternative employment where appropriate.

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• 7.3

undergo any training required to assist with redeployment.

Responsibility of the HR manager It is the responsibility of the HR manager to:


advise line managers and staff during any potential organisational change.

support managers in the preparation of letters and notes of meetings as appropriate.

provide advice to employees on the implications of organisational change.

acquire redundancy calculations from the salaries and wages department as appropriate and at the request of the line manager.

ensure managers are updated in the contents of this procedure and management best practice in relation to organisational change.

assist the manager to seek suitable alternative employment where appropriate including the holding of posts prior to advertisement where necessary.

maintain the HR At Risk Register.

Responsibility of the trade union representative It is the responsibility of the trade union representative to:


attend consultation meetings with staff members on proposed organisational changes.

support individual members of staff at individual meetings on proposed changes.

advise members of staff on their rights and responsibilities regarding the governances and organisational change .

Appeals Any individual grievances arising through the application of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with the PCT’s Grievance Procedure.


Review of Procedure This procedure will be reviewed within 3 years of implementation within the PCT.

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Appendix 1

Managers Good Practice Guide

Appendix 2

Advance Letter GC2/93 Excess Travel Costs Resulting from Relocation

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Establish the nature of the change.

Consider options designed to achieve the change with emphasis upon balancing the circumstances of staff with the needs of the service.

Identify who is affected and involve all concerned including trade union representatives through effective consultation.

Consult with interested parties observing timescales. Don’t forget that organisational change issues can range from major exercises such as a merger of hospitals to more local issues such as changes to working hours for a small group of staff.

When possible allow staff time to adapt to changed working patterns and practices respecting such as the need to make new arrangements for dependants in accordance with family friendly working practices. Three months notice of making changes to working practices/patterns etc is deemed reasonable by Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Phase in the change where possible. Some employees will always be able to respond more easily than others.

Always be aware of and respect protection rights of staff affected by change.

Ensure that proposed new working arrangements are discussed not only with staff and trade unions directly affected, but also departments who, for example, require the services. Publicise the new arrangements to all concerned in good time.

Be prepared to consider via consultation alternative proposals from staff and trade unions which could well have the same desired effect. For example, when work diminishes, a staff group may prefer to collectively and individually reduce hours rather than lose jobs.

For more minor issues of change involving, for example a small group of staff a good approach is to constitute a small joint working party (managers, trade union representatives and employees). This is to give a spirit of joint ownership of this issue.

Monitor, review and evaluate changed working patterns and practices in order to demonstrate the need.

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If planning changes to the employment circumstances of groups and individuals it is essential that discussion with the appropriate human resources manager takes place with immediate effect and prior to any action being taken.

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Employees who are required to change their headquarters as a result of the amalgamation of health authorities or a re-organisation of an authority’s services or their acceptance of another post in consequence of redundancy at their previous place of employment may be reimbursed the whole of their extra daily travelling expenses for a period of 4 years from the date of transfer to the new headquarters. The excess shall be calculated on the basis of bus fares or second class fares or, if the employee travels by a private vehicle, on the basis of the public transport mileage rate. (Appendix A of Section 24 refers)

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