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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Redeployment policy and procedure

Introduction

The University recognises the importance of maintaining and enhancing the efficiency of its operations, while seeking to safeguard security of employment for members of staff. Accordingly, the University will seek to avoid compulsory termination of employment on the grounds of redundancy wherever possible.

Where it is necessary to select staff to be made redundant, the University will seek to identify suitable alternative employment for affected staff in accordance with this Redeployment Policy which is intended to:

  • Assist members of staff to be redeployed to suitable alternative roles wherever practicable;
  • Ensure that the University has considered suitable alternative employment for those members of staff at risk of termination of their employment due to redundancy.

This policy statement is underpinned by the following principles:

  • The University is unable to create posts in one department in order to minimise the need for redundancies in another.
  • There is no guarantee that a suitable alternative post will become available during individual notice periods.
  • Redeployees are expected to seek positions both internally and externally to mitigate any potential financial losses as a result of the ending of their employment with the University.
  • While staff may apply for roles at a higher grade within the University, they will receive no preferential consideration for such positions and will be expected to compete alongside other internal and/or external candidates.
  • Staff will not be redeployed to positions where there is no match to the essential criteria or where the training period required for the member of staff to demonstrate full competence in the job exceeds three months.
  • Members of staff will not be redeployed to a different department or type of work simply because they are underperforming in their current job.

Redeployment Policy

Scope

This policy applies to all members of staff who have at least 24 months' continuous service.

Members of staff who require certificates of sponsorship and visas to work in the UK cannot be offered redeployment as the University is not then able to meet the market test as required by the UK Borders Agency. Instead, such staff are encouraged to apply for vacancies once an advertisement has been published.

The University will use its best endeavours to maintain security of employment through the effective forward planning of its resources. However, there may be situations where redeployment may be necessary, for example, where posts are at risk of redundancy due to:

  • structural or organisational change; or
  • individual jobs no longer being required; or
  • the need for work of a particular type diminishing or coming to an end; or
  • funding supporting a job or work coming to an end, e.g. fixed term contracts; or
  • circumstances where employment is at risk because a member of staff has a disability as identified under the Disability Discrimination Act, and reasonable adjustments cannot be made to enable the member of staff to continue in his/her present post;

In any of the above circumstances full consultation will take place with the staff affected and their representatives.

Priority on Redeployment

Redeployees will normally be considered before any internal or external applicants are called for interview.

PriorityNote

1

Those members of staff at risk of redundancy, with at least 24 months' continuous service. (Certain legal requirements, for example maternity or sex discrimination legislation, may over-ride the normal priority given to applicants within this group.)

2

Those Members of staff who for medical reasons can no longer carry out their current role

3

An exceptional reason based on business requirements.

Roles and Responsibilities

Once a member of staff has been notified by HR that they are a redeployee, the following responsibilities will apply:

Redeployees will be expected to:

  • register on redeployment site for job notifications. This facility is available once formal notice of redundancy/termination has been issued. Note: this varies depending on grade and length of service;
  • consider all suitable alternative positions;
  • consider the vacant position and apply, submitting a CV and covering letter highlighting their skills, experience and competencies against the job and person specification, that clearly demonstrates they meet the essential criteria;
  • reply by the closing date;
  • update their CV regularly against the requirements of post(s) available;
  • update the skills form considering the requirements of the post;
  • review details of vacancies frequently and regularly;
  • put themselves forward for suitable alternative vacancies;
  • consider reasonable changes in working arrangements, pay and responsibilities;
  • prepare for interviews and selection processes;
  • keep HR aware of any planned absences;
  • search proactively for other opportunities both internally and externally;
  • be prepared to accept offers of suitable alternative employment.

Host Heads of Department and Professional Services Managers are expected to:

  • support redeployees;
  • consider alternatives to redundancy, for example seeking further funding;
  • allow reasonable time off for redeployees to attend interviews or training as appropriate;
  • release members of staff to take up redeployment opportunities as soon as practicable.

Receiving Heads of Department / Line Managers are expected to:

  • consider members of staff who are subject to redeployment (a legal requirement);
  • consider suitable redeployees ahead of any other applicants;
  • assess redeployees against the essential criteria for the post as detailed in job specifications;
  • interview redeployees where they meet essential criteria;
  • provide detailed feedback and evidence of suitability/unsuitability of redeployees;
  • provide essential training and support, within the department, during the trial period (usually no more than 3 months);
  • assess redeployees against the essential criteria at the end of a trial period.

Human Resources is expected to:

  • confirm redeployee status and priority at the earliest opportunity;
  • give members of staff so affected access to the University's redeployment website;
  • place potentially suitable positions on the redeployment portal (the member of staff is responsible for checking the portal for suitable postions;
  • liaise with occupational health in appropriate cases .

Occupational Health Service is expected to provide advice:

  • to Heads of Departments and Professional Services Managers and HR where a member of staff has a disability which may render them unable to continue in their existing position;
  • to Heads of Departments and Professional Services Managers and HR in relation to the member of staff's capability to undertake suitable alternative employment;
  • to identify the types of roles that may be suitable for the redeployee.

Redeployment Procedure

Status

HR will confirm redeployee status and priority with the redeployee.

Access to the system

The redeployee will be given a password, from HR, to access the redeployment portal within the e-Recruitment system during their formal contractural notice period. Within this system the redeployee will be guided through setting up the job alerts for positions in suitable grades.

Job Alerts

  • Once jobs become available the redeployee will receive an email notification, alerting them to the position.
  • A job will be advertised via the redeployment portal for 3 working days before being released internally and externally.
  • Those members of staff with redeployee status who wish to be considered are expected to apply by the closing date.

Application

It is the redeployee's responsibility to consider the vacant position and apply without undue delay, submitting a CV and covering letter highlighting their skills, experience and competencies against the person specification.

Shortlisting Applications

The standard shortlisting process will be followed.

Selection Process

The standard University selection process will be followed to assess a redeployee's suitability for a post, including presentations, assessments and formal interviews where appropriate.

Demonstrating suitability

  • There will normally be a minimum 4 week trial period of redeployment.
  • When a redeployee has been selected the trial period will begin as soon as possible.
  • If there are concerns by either party during this trial period then HR should be contacted immediately.
  • The new position will be offered at the salary and terms and conditions commensurate with the grade of the new post.

Pay Protection

Where a member of staff is formally redeployed to a vacant post deemed as a suitable alternative role (as defined below) to redundancy, and where the member of staff will be subject to a financial detriment, the University will protect their level of remuneration for a period of 12 months from the date of the transfer. Pay protection only applies to basic salary without overtime or other payments.

The normal terms and conditions of employment will be applied to the new post eg holiday entitlement etc.

In the event that an individual seeks and obtains redeployment at a lower level than their current position, they will only receive protection for one grade above the post being redeployed into - eg a grade 8 being redeployed into a grade 5 role would receive one year protection at the maximum point (below the contribution bar) of grade 6.

Where the new employment is for different hours, either more or fewer than the previous post, this will be taken into account when determining levels of pay protection. When moving to a new post involving more hours, pay protection will only be applied for the same number of hours as the previous post. When moving to a post involving more hours, pay protection will only apply if the overall level of remuneration is reduced.

On redeployment, notice is effectively withdrawn and the individual begins a new contract on a permanent or fixed term basis.

If redeployment is for a period of less than one year and not extended - at the appropriate point, notice will again be issued and the individual is once more under threat of redundancy. At this point, they will again be subject to the redeployment procedures. Redeployment would be on the basis of the substantive grade of the individual's role at that point - ie using the example above, a grade 5 post. The individual could only be considered on a protected redeployment basis for the same or lower grade positions with protection to one grade above the post they are redeployed to.

Assistance with CV writing and interviews

Where requested, HR will arrange for help and guidance on compiling CVs as well as offering coaching on interview techniques, either on an individual or small group basis.

Unsuccessful applications

If a member of staff is unsuccessful following a trial period, they will remain on redeployee status and will be eligible to be considered for other suitable alterative positions.

Unreasonable refusal of an offer of suitable alternative employment

Should a redeployee unreasonably refuse any suitable alterative jobs the University will remove him/her from the redeployment system and initiate the dismissal process.

Other sources of potential assistance

Whilst there are no guarantees of job availability nor preferential interviews/assessments, the following links to sources of job opportunities may be of assistance to you:

York St John University

Sheffield Hallam University

Teesside University

Jobs.ac.uk

Newcastle University

Northumbria University

Sunderland University

StudyGroup


'suitable alternative roles': defined as a post which carries the same grade or 1 grade lower for which the member of staff is able to demonstrate clear evidence of a match in terms of essential criteria as detailed in the person specification.