Organisational Change Policy NO. HRP11

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1 DRAFT VERSION 1 Organisational Change Policy NO. HRP11 Applies to: All Staff Committee for Approval Education and Workforce Committee Date of Approval: September 2012 Review Date: September 2014 Name of Lead Manager Jo Harvey Version 1

2 Organisational Change Policy CONTENTS Paragraph Page 1.0 Introduction Equality Impact Assessment Good Corporate Citizen Definitions Duties (responsibilities) Types of Organisational Change Procedure Changes to Terms & Conditions of Employment Restructures Redeployment Decommissioning of Services Protection of Pay Management of Redundancies TUPE Transfers Acting Up/Secondments Temporary Contracts Change of Base of Work Employees Absent from Work through Sickness Absence Employees Absence from Work through Maternity Training/Support Appeals Procedure Process for monitoring effective implementation Other Relevant Procedural Documents References (as evidence base) 26 1

3 Organisational Change Policy 1.0 INTRODUCTION Wirral Community NHS Trust (WCNHST) values its employees and it is the Trust s aim to provide a stable, well-structured and rewarding working environment. The Trust also aims to both preserve and create jobs where possible. However, in order to achieve the Trust s strategic vision we must be able to respond quickly to our patients and our commissioners needs, and recognise the constantly changing demands of healthcare provision. This will require the Trust and its employees to undergo organisational change from time to time. Managers of WCNHST will need to structure their teams to enable our services to meet the needs of the local population. In some circumstances, this may require changes to working practices which may impact on employees contractual arrangements, changes to team structures/role design, an increase or reduction in the number of posts required to deliver services or result in a transfer of services either in or out of the organisation. This policy aims to demonstrate the commitment of WCNHST to deal with change in a fair, consistent, open and sympathetic manner to minimise the effect on employees concerned. An essential objective of this policy is to also ensure that WCNHST maintains the quality of existing service provision, minimises disruption to services and maintains the commitment and motivation of staff during any time of change. In many circumstances, implementing organisational change will be essential to retain a service and its staff within the Trust. WCNHST is committed to listening and responding to employees concerns in relation to organisational change. The NHS Constitution sets out our responsibilities in its pledges to actively engage staff in decisions that affect them and the services they provide. All employees will have an opportunity to put forward their views on ways to deliver better services for our patients and families and to achieve our vision. This includes staff involvement in the management of change and improvement of services ensuring that staff feel that they have a degree of control over their work and the way in which their teams function. The Trust is also committed to ensuring that employees affected by organisational change will not be discriminated against for any reason identified in the Equality Act on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital status, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief or sexual orientation. To ensure fair and consistent practice, all decisions on significant changes will only be made within the framework of this policy following initial discussions with a HR representative, ongoing support from the designated HR representative and in consultation with appropriate staff side organisations. 2.0 EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT In line with the Trust s Equality and Diversity Objectives each procedural document will be screened by the manager responsible for its development, to consider whether there is an equality dimension or whether it is applicable to the Trust s duty to promote equality. The 2

4 equality screening process and any wider impact assessment should be recorded within the document. As part of its development, this policy and its impact on equality have been reviewed as described above. The purpose of the assessment is to minimise and if possible remove any disproportionate impact on employees on the grounds of race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religious belief. No detriment was identified. This policy will be available upon request in Braille, large print or alternate languages upon request. 3.0 GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN As part of WCNHST s commitment to be a good corporate citizen, all change programmes will be reviewed by the manager proposing the changes to maximise their contribution to sustainable development. This policy supports the principles with its commitment to support employees through organisational change, to consider training for employees affected by organisational change and making any reasonable adjustments necessary to remove any disadvantages for disabled employees. 4.0 DEFINITIONS Additional earnings - the weekly or monthly average of earnings additional to the basic salary or wage over the three months immediately preceding the first day of employment in a new post. A more senior post - is a post, which carries an hourly rate or a salary scale with a maximum point higher than that applying to the new post or any subsequent post that the employee may have to move to. Basic salary - is exclusively the monthly sum due in respect of basic hours worked by an employee within the standard working week as defined in their conditions of service, plus any other payments reckoned on the day immediately preceding the first day of employment in a new post. Remuneration is an employees annual salary Downgrading - occurs when a new post, irrespective of its band or title, carries an hourly rate or a salary scale with a maximum point lower than that of the band held by the employee in a previous post. Earnings in a new post - means the sum of the basic salary in a new post and of any remuneration in respect of overtime, shift work and other additional duties. Organisational change - means any structural or managerial change in the organisation of WCNHST s services, changes to working practices or contractual arrangements and circumstances relating to the transfer of staff in or out of the organisation for reasons relating to a Transfer of Undertakings. 3

5 Pay Protection - Where an employee takes up a new post at a lower banding and their pay is protected for a time limited period Reckonable service - to qualify for protection reckonable service will be continuous NHS service. Redundancy Where an employees employment ends as a result of organistional change. Transfer of Undertakings Where the requirement for services of either a whole or part of a service is transferred to another organisation. 5.0 DUTIES (responsibilities) 5.1 Chief Executive The Chief Executive has overarching responsibility for ensuring the content of this policy is applied consistently and fairly across WCNHST. 5.2 Trust Board The Board is responsible for ensuring that the policy is applied throughout WCNHST through its Chief Executive, Directors, Managers and Employees. The Board will regularly review the effectiveness of the Policy, in consultation with staff side representatives. Responsibility may be delegated to the Education and Workforce Committee. 5.3 Director of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs The Director of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs is the named officer responsible for ensuring the content of this policy is applied consistently and fairly across the Trust. 5.4 Heads of Service and Divisional Managers Head of Services and Divisional Managers are responsible for considering the impact this policy may have on restructures or redesign of teams and departments within their service(s)/division and overseeing the dissemination and implementation of this policy across their service(s)/division. Heads of Service (HOS)/Divisional Managers are responsible for: - Considering the impact this policy may have on restructures or redesign of teams and departments within their service. - Overseeing the dissemination of implementation of this policy across their service at any time when organisational change may impact on employees. - Drafting a paper outlining any significant changes, to be approved by the Senior Management Team. They should provide periodic updates to SMT on the progress 4

6 made in relation to the organisational change process, highlighting any risks and/or success of the programme. - Following each organisational change project a full evaluation process should be undertaken to identify lessons learned and to share for future change programmes. This will be the responsibility of the Head of Service/Divisional Manager. 5.7 Service Leads Service Leads are responsible for considering the impact this policy may have on restructures or redesign of teams and departments within their service and ensuring that this policy is disseminated and implemented across their service at any time when organisational change may impact on employees. They are also required to support the Head of Service/Divisional Manager when drafting a paper outlining the changes to be approved by the Senior Management Team and providing periodic updates to SMT on the progress made in relation to the organisational change process, highlighting any risks and/or success of the programme. 5.8 Line Managers Line managers are responsible for the dissemination and implementation of this policy within their teams at any time where organisational change impacts the employees they are responsible for. Line Managers have responsibility for managing change and they must: Lead change positively Encourage a climate of openness, flexibility and innovation Treat employees fairly and consistently Involve employees in decisions affecting their work as far as possible Provide information to employees and Staff Side representatives on any proposed changes to the workforce Ensure appropriate consultation takes place Document changes and discussions undertaken Listen to employees concerns and respond appropriately Provide appropriate support and training to employees affected by organisational change Ensure that staff who are absent from the workplace are kept informed in relation to changes Identify a Communications Champion for staff to assist them throughout the Organisational Change process Provide employees with the following confidential address to be able to raise concerns anonymously 5.9 Individual Employees Employees are responsible for taking due consideration of this policy where organisational change poses an impact on their work. They should uphold the values of the organisation at 5

7 all times and those values are particularly relevant during times of change; promoting the value of community services, embracing change, being supportive and empowering, listening and responding, providing excellent care and service, positive partnerships and team working and demonstrating knowledge and professionalism. Employees are expected to engage with the process of organisational change, providing feedback to the management teams involved through the processes identified and where necessary, using informal processes in the first instance. Formal processes should only be utilised where all informal processes have been exhausted. Employees must: Attend any consultation meetings as requested Inform their line manager of any personal circumstances that may prevent them from adapting to the changes, either medical or otherwise Actively consider any amendments to their post or offers of redeployment Inform managers of their preferences for redeployment and personal constraints for alternative employment to assist with redeployment When placed on the redeployment register they must access the NHS Jobs website on a regular basis to view information available in relation to adverts, job descriptions and person specifications of current vacancies 5.10 Staff Side Representatives Staff Side representatives play an important role when implementing organisational change as they provide support to employees through what can be difficult times. In order that the changes are implemented effectively they must: Work in partnership with the management teams responsible for implementing the changes Provide feedback on the views of the employees affected throughout the change process Raise matters of concern informally before raising concerns under any formal processes Attend any consultation meetings as requested Provide appropriate advice and support to employees affected Be positive about organisational change and promote and uphold the vision and values of WCNHST 5.5 Communications Team The Communications team is responsible for providing timely advice to managers in relation to the appropriate communication processes with staff during any period of organisational change. 6.0 TYPES OF ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE Change is a constant feature of working in the modern NHS and all staff should expect to experience changes to their services from time to time. These changes may not always affect employees directly in relation to the terms and conditions of employment but might 6

8 affect working practices on a day-to-day basis. On other occasions the impact of the changes might be significant and some examples are provided below: Service Redesign/Restructure leading to changes to terms and conditions of employment Decommissioning of services TUPE Transfers Each of these examples will having varying degrees of complexity in relation to the impact they have on staff and the organisation as well as how we deliver our services and it is recognised that this can affect everyone differently. Within this policy we have attempted to address most situations that staff may encounter during their employment with WCNHST. 7.0 PROCEDURE There is no one prescriptive way of implementing organisational change as every situation will require different methods depending on the circumstances and the impact it will have on the employees involved. This procedure aims to provide guidance for managers when dealing with change however, they may wish to utilise a combination of the methods identified. This procedure has been set out in the following categories: Level 1: Level 2: Level 3: Small changes that have minimal impact on employees Moderate changes that have some impact to working practices but do not involve changes to employees terms and conditions of employment High impact changes that may have a significant impact on employees employment and/or terms and conditions Examples of the different levels: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 A change to working patterns that has a small impact e.g. a change of base or team Service Redesign or a change to working patterns that has a moderate impact e.g. service hours to be extended to working evenings/weekends Service Redesign which involves a reduction/downgrading of posts or a TUPE transfer Each level will require a different approach to the consultation process with staff. In particular, if it is a Level 1 change and all the staff are in agreement to the new working arrangements then it is expected that these can be implemented as soon as reasonably practical. However, when managing a Level 3 change the manager will need to consider a more formal process of staff engagement and request input from relevant Staff Side representatives in order to get accurate feedback from staff. Whether the impact of the change is high or low managers should always communicate the reasons for the change clearly to staff to ensure that they understand why it needs to happen. The procedure below provides guidance on how to implement each level as indicated above. 7

9 7.1 Level 1 Appropriate consultation with staff should take place whatever the level of changes being implemented. Clear communication is an important part of implementing change and therefore Managers should always endeavour to provide information in an open and honest way. In situations where the impact is minimal a less formal approach may be appropriate and the consultation process may take place in the form of team meetings, ensuring that these are documented/minuted. Staff should always have the opportunity to discuss the changes with their line manager on a one-to-one basis, therefore this can be dealt with in accordance with normal line management processes i.e. regular 1:1 meetings. The 1:1 template document in the Managing Organisational Change Line Managers Toolkit can be used in these circumstances and guidance outlined in Section should be followed. The employee s concerns should be documented and the line manager should take appropriate action to address their concerns. If the employee(s) affected are in agreement with the changes then they can be implemented as soon as reasonably practical, however, if the employee(s) don t agree, then consideration should be given to the reasons given and whether there are alternative ways of dealing with the situation. Line Managers may wish to seek advice from HR and staff may wish to take advice from their Staff Side Representative at the earliest opportunity to discuss the impact of the changes. 7.2 Level 2 Where the impact of organisational change on employees is moderate a more robust process is appropriate and levels of consultation reflect this. This may apply to situations that have an impact on employees work/life balance e.g. a requirement to work evenings or weekends or changes to the role/duties. In these circumstances Line Managers should inform the employees of the new requirements and the reasons why e.g. new requirements from the commissioners in the service specification or feedback from clients/patients. Although these changes may not actually constitute a change to an employees terms and conditions of employment these changes should be communicated more formally. The line manager will be responsible for ensuring that these changes are implemented and that staff are made aware of these changes within a reasonable time frame. The process for implementing changes to working practices will depend on the number of staff affected, the complexity of the changes and the impact it may have on employees. In the first instance, agreement should be sought and changes implemented through mutual consent. An important part of this process will be to explain the reasons for the changes and 8

10 open discussions about alternatives. However, if mutual consent cannot be obtained and where the changes affect employees working hours or other arrangements, a full and proper consultation process should be undertaken as set out in Section All employees should be offered the opportunity of a 1:1 meeting with their line manager to discuss the changes. There is a template 1:1 document, guidance on how to conduct the meeting and a template letter inviting employees to the meeting is available for managers in the Managing Organisational Change Toolkit. Consideration will need to be given to the impact the changes may have on employees who have personal commitments outside work i.e. carer responsibilities, childcare arrangements as well as the impact the changes may have on employees who have a disability which is identified within the Equality Act. Advice should be sought from a HR representative in these situations as reasonable adjustments may be required. Where an employee is unable to adapt to the changes because of their personal external commitments, consideration should be given to the employee s ability to fulfill the requirements of the service and whether redeployment is a suitable alternative. Where redeployment is identified as a suitable alternative the process as set out in Section 10.0 must be followed. WCNHST reserves the right to decide whether protection of pay, in accordance with the Trust policy, will apply. Line managers who are managing changes which affect an employee s duties are required to formally make any amendments to their job description. They must do this in consultation with the employees affected. A copy of the job description should be forwarded to HR to be assessed by a HR representative in relation to any impact on the Agenda for Change banding. 7.3 Level 3 Where the level of impact on employees affected is significant the organisation is required to follow formal processes in line with legislation as follows. These processes are put in place to protect both the employee and the organisation Consultation The responsible manager (Head of Service/Divisional Manager) must draft a paper for consideration by the Senior Management Team outlining the proposed changes. Senior Management Team (SMT) will then be responsible for the approval of any change programmes and overseeing the process in line with this policy. The Manager will be required to provide periodic updates for consideration highlighting any risk and/or success of the programme. In addition to the above paper a HR Framework for the change process should be developed. The HR Framework will outline the key principles in relation to the organisation s commitment to ensuring that all staff will be treated fairly and equitably throughout the process and should be developed in conjunction with the HR department Communications Champions 9

11 All staff are expected to engage in the communication and engagement process to support organisational change, and will be given opportunities to ask questions, either in team meetings or on a one to one basis. To assist staff who do not feel confident in presenting their views, managers should identify a Communications Champion to support staff through organisational change. This should be a member of staff who can be approached to ask questions anonymously and be a spokesperson for staff members. They will not be required to deliver the responses to those questions Staff Side Involvement The Trust recognises the importance of the role that staff side representatives play in supporting the organisational change process. Robust consultation processes will be followed to ensure continuation of effective partnership working with staff side on an ongoing basis Consultation Process Guidance Consultation will take place between WCNHST and the relevant Staff Side organisations on the implications for employees which may arise from organisational change. The process outlined below should be used as guidance; however it is important to note that effective consultation can follow various formats and the most appropriate process should be established following a discussion with HR. Managers should seek to commence consultation as early as practicable discussions should commence early enough to allow for meaningful consultation to take place but at a point where the basic aims of the change are clear. Appropriate representatives will be entitled to a reasonable amount of information as soon as possible, such as the reasons for changes and the proposed timescale as well as the number and type of staff affected. Managers should ideally develop a consultation document, which outlines proposed changes and the process to be followed. There will often be some aspects of the change that have been imposed on WCNHST and cannot be influenced by employees (for example if funding has expired for a service and that service has to cease, or if commissioners ask for service changes). It is essential for this to be clearly stated so that staff know which aspects of the change management programme they are able to influence. Proposed changes should be shared with Staff Side prior to commencement of consultation with staff, where appropriate, e.g. Joint Forum. The manager should arrange for a group meeting with all staff affected to inform them of the proposed changes. Staff should be offered the opportunity to have a one to one meeting with their line manager to allow them to express their views, discuss any concerns about the proposed changes along with their ability to adapt to those changes and identify any preferences in relation to future employment. Employees are entitled to be accompanied by a work place colleague or trade union representative, although it is acknowledged that this will not always be necessary. Line managers should take an open and honest approach to communicating with employees and ensure that they are kept informed at all times. 10

12 Managers should incorporate feedback from staff into the change management process Employment Legislation - Statutory Obligations Where it is evident or strongly suspected that planned changes will have a significant impact on employees contractual arrangements, working practices or will result in redeployments or redundancies, then the statutory rules concerning the provision of information and the requirement to consult with recognised Trade Unions must be followed. Employees who have been identified as requiring redeployment will have the right to representation throughout the process. Management must consult with employees for a minimum of 30 days notice (the minimum laid down by the Employment Rights Act 1996) where there are up to 100 staff that might be affected by any proposed changes or made redundant and 90 days notice where more than 100 staff are involved. In most circumstances, collective consultation should be exhausted before individual consultation can proceed, however if during the collective consultation matters have reached an appropriate stage or agreement then individual consultation may commence. Or if it is clear at the outset that the requirement to make the changes is not within the organisation s remit to decide i.e. the commissioners require extended opening hours for the service, then individual consultation may also commence. Consultation with employees must be meaningful and allow employees to exchange their views before any decision is finalised on matters that can be influenced, although it is recognised that in some circumstances the decision may not be within the remit of the organisation e.g. the decision to decommission a service by the commissioners. Methods of communication around change may involve a combination of some of the following: Open forum events Presentations to groups of staff Discussions in meetings Specific team briefings Staff notices 1:1 meetings WCNHST will fulfil its obligations as outlined in the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations April Individual Meetings (one to ones) Where organisational changes impact on either an individual or a group of employees then they should be offered an individual meeting with their line manager to discuss how the changes affect them personally. The employee should be advised of their right to representation at the meeting. A template for the one to one meeting is available in the Managing Organisational Change Toolkit. 11

13 The aims of the meeting are: To ensure the individual is informed of the changes and understands how the change affects them Give the employee an opportunity to express any concerns or issues in relation to the changes Explore any opportunities available to them Explain any processes that will be in place i.e. selection Employees should be invited to the meeting in writing and a copy of the one to one document should be provided to the employee following the meeting. Guidance on how to conduct the meeting and a template letter inviting employees to the meeting is available for managers in the Managing Organisational Change Toolkit. 8.0 CHANGES TO TERMS & CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT Where there is a requirement for WCNHST to respond to changes that affect employees contractual terms and conditions, a process of consultation as set out in Section 7.3 must be followed. In certain circumstances if an employee refuses to accept the changes to their terms and conditions following an appropriate notice period, the employee may be given notice of termination of their contract of employment and offered re-engagement on the new terms. If the employee then refuses the offer of re-engagement, their contract of employment will be terminated. This course of action will only be taken following full consideration of the individual s ability to undertake the new terms and should only be considered following advice from an appropriate HR representative. Employees who have concerns regarding the proposed changes should, in the first instance, raise this with their line manager through the consultation process implemented as part of the organisational change process, either through team meetings or their one to one. The line manager will be responsible for responding to their concerns. However, if a satisfactory resolution is not found the employee will be able to raise their concerns in line with Section 20.0 Appeals Procedure. 9.0 RESTRUCTURES Where there is a requirement to restructure a service it will be necessary to consult with staff at the earliest opportunity, highlighting the impact it will have on employees. Staff side should also be consulted as set out in Section & Where there is a reduction in the number of employees required to deliver a service or there is a requirement to downgrade staff, employees who are identified for redeployment should be supported and reassured by their line manager that every effort will be made to find them alternative employment should the need arise. 12

14 During the 1:1 meetings, line managers should discuss the individual s circumstances and assess their suitability for any new roles identified in the new structure, subject to any selection process. 9.1 Matching People to Posts Where there is no requirement to reduce staff numbers and/or where the substantive duties, band, hours of work, salary and other terms and conditions of employment of the post holder are wholly or mainly the same, (i.e. less than 50% change to current role) and where there are an equal or more numbers of posts in relation to potential post holders, employees will automatically be slotted into the new structure. Line managers will be required to inform all employees, in writing, whether they have been slotted into one of the posts on the new structure, or whether they have been identified for redeployment. 9.2 Slotting-In Process Employees will be slotted into posts on the basis of where their current duties are in the new structure. Therefore, if 50% or more of their duties are moved into another post and the post is of the same band, then they will be entitled to that post and be slotted in, providing that the number of employees is equal to the number of posts. If an individual s duties are split across 2 posts, which are of the same band, then the individual will be asked to state their preference and the line manager will required to make a decision as to which post will be most appropriate to their experience and skills. The assessment of slotting in individuals into posts will be completed through the 1:1 meetings. The final decision will rest with the line manager. 9.3 When there are more Employees than there are Available Posts Where it has been identified that there are more employees than there are available posts, consultation will take place to consider what steps can be taken to avoid redundancies. These steps will include a review of overtime being worked, the introduction of restrictions on recruitment, a review of the use being made of contract staff (i.e. those on bank or agency), the consideration of any employees who are approaching retirement age or considering early retirement and the possibility of redeploying and/or retraining people who are likely to be affected. Individuals on fixed term contracts will be reviewed on a case by case basis, in conjunction with senior HR support. Where there remains a surplus of staff after a full review has been conducted, there will be a process of competitive interview and selection into posts in the new structure against a predetermined criteria. The responsibility for determining the pool of employees affected and fair selection criteria rests with management in consultation with Staff Side representatives. The criteria should be fair and objective and the needs of the service should be balanced with the wishes of the employees concerned. In particular, the aim should be to ensure that the essential and desirable expertise that exists within the organisation is retained. 13

15 The pool of employees will be restricted to employees at the equivalent banding of the posts concerned and are substantively based within the service affected by the change. Wherever possible where an employee is ineligible because he or she is unable to meet the essential criteria of the person specification, or applies and fails to secure a post at the equivalent level in the new structure, then he or she may apply and be considered for other posts in the structure provided this does not have the effect of unfairly displacing other employees who may also be on the redeployment register and subject to restricted competition within a different pool. However, this may not always be possible and the organisation reserves the right to vary this approach dependent on the circumstances REDEPLOYMENT The HR Department will maintain a register of employees who have been identified as requiring redeployment and employees will be notified when they are entered onto the register. The register will contain information on the individuals preferences for redeployment in addition to basic personal information. Employees on the register will be given access to any Clearing House arrangements through NHS Jobs in place at the time and be responsible for accessing the site on a regular basis in order to secure an alternative position. Employees who fail to make a reasonable effort to find a suitable alternative post may forgo their rights to any occupational redundancy payment. Employees who seek redeployment through not being able to adapt to the changes i.e. a change in hours, where there is still a substantive role available will not be entitled to a redundancy payment Vacancy Management To assist the redeployment process, all vacancies that arise should be placed through any Clearing House arrangements in place before they are submitted for open advertisement. No vacancy or new post will be open to competition internally or externally until employees on the register have been considered for such posts. Employees on the register who have a disability as identified within The Equality Act or are pregnant or on maternity leave, will have the opportunity to consider any vacancy prior to the post being advertised through the Clearing House arrangements. Provided that they meet the essential criteria for the post and they are medically fit to undertake the role, they will be offered the post. If there is more than one candidate in this position that meets the criteria and is able to undertake the position, a selection process will need to be applied. The process for managing the redeployment register is outlined in the Redeployment Flow Chart in the Managing Organisational Change Line Manager s Toolkit Identifying Preferences for Redeployment In considering redeployment, employees who have been identified as requiring redeployment, should have a one to one with their line manager to establish: 14

16 The degree of flexibility and personal aspirations Transferable skills The ability to work any other hours at other locations Options for alternative employment Personal constraints 10.3 Interviews for Alternative Posts A selection interview is guaranteed whenever an employee on the register meets the essential requirements outlined in the person specification of an available post or could do so with appropriate training. This 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 from those who fulfil the requirements of the person specification will be offered the role Suitable Alternative Employment When an employee or group of employees are identified as requiring redeployment all efforts will be made to find suitable alternative employment either within WCNHST in accordance with the relevant terms and conditions of service. Suitable alternative employment will be defined in terms of pay, working hours, status, band, location and working environment. In considering whether a post is deemed as a suitable alternative, regard should be made to the personal circumstances of the employee, though employees will be expected to show flexibility by adapting their domestic arrangements where possible. Suitable alternative employment will only be deemed appropriate where the employee secures a post at either the same band as their substantive post or one band below. Where suitable alternative employment is deemed appropriate at a lower band (one band below) then pay protection will apply. If an employee secures a post at more than one band below their substantive role then this will not be deemed as a suitable alternative and pay protection arrangements will not apply. Where an employee unreasonably refuses an offer of a suitable alternative post, or fails to apply for a suitable alternative post within WCNHST, then he or she will be deemed to have refused suitable alternative employment, which may jeopardise his or her entitlement to occupational redundancy payments. Any individual employee who is aggrieved by a decision as to the suitability of alternative employment should in the first instance raise this with their line manager. If, following this they are still not satisfied with the response they should raise their concerns following the Appeals Procedure as outlined in Section

17 10.5 Trial Periods A trial period is required if an offer of suitable alternative employment is made to an employee who would otherwise be made redundant and the suitability of the post is not clear from the outset i.e. a post outside the immediate department in a similar role. The trial period would be for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of three months. Trial period arrangements, including mechanisms for assessment and review should be agreed before the trial period begins. If, during the trial period, the employee reasonably decides to reject the post or management deem they are unsuitable for the post, the employee would be placed back onto the redeployment register and would not forfeit their right to any redundancy payment. If an employee who would otherwise be declared redundant requests a trial period in a post that would not be regarded as suitable alternative employment, the employee would not forfeit his or her redundancy payment if he or she reasonably decides to reject the role during the trial period, unless they withdraw without giving a reasonable explanation. The terms of the trial period and the subsequent arrangements i.e. protection of pay will be confirmed in writing to the employee prior to commencement. In all cases, the employee will remain employed on his or her substantive terms and conditions of employment throughout the duration of the trial period. If after the trial period ends the manager and employee have not expressed any concerns as to the suitability of the post they are trialing, they will be deemed to have accepted the post DECOMMISSIONING OF SERVICES In circumstances where a service is decommissioned, the appropriate Senior Manager(s) of WCNHST will be responsible for identifying the employees that will be affected. Staff side should be consulted and a process for informing staff should be agreed. A process of consultation as outlined in Section & should be conducted at the earliest possible opportunity. Once the views and opinions of staff have been collated, appropriate plans should then be agreed and put in place to consider the redeployment of the staff affected and the process as outlined in Section 10.0 should be followed. Permanent employees who are successfully redeployed into a post of one band below their substantive post will be entitled to protection of pay as set out in the Pay Protection Policy. If it has not been possible to find a suitable alternative role for any employee(s) affected by the decommissioning process then staff will be entitled to redundancy payments as set out in Section 13.0 provided they have not unreasonably refused a suitable alternative. 16

18 12.0 PROTECTION OF PAY In circumstances where an employee is adversely affected by organisational change there will be arrangements for safeguarding pay and conditions of service as an alternative to redundancy. These arrangements apply to any permanent employee who, as a consequence of organisational change, is required by management to move to a new post of a lower band (a maximum of one band below will apply) or suffers a reduction in hours worked in a standard working week. Full details of the pay protection arrangements can be found in HRP 8 Pay Protection Policy MANAGEMENT OF REDUNDANCIES Definition of Redundancy: Redundancy can be defined as a dismissal, which is wholly or mainly attributable to: a) the fact that the employer has ceased, or intends to cease, to carry on the business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by them, or has ceased or intends to cease to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or b) the fact that the requirements of that business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind or for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where they were so employed, have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish WCNHST is committed to providing continued employment for existing permanent staff and therefore will do anything reasonably practicable and affordable to avoid having to make employees compulsorily redundant. However, where redundancy becomes necessary WCNHST will: encourage full and open consultation with staff and their representatives during periods of change that may lead to redundancy facilitate the redeployment of staff and assist with appropriate re-training as required for redeployment opportunities ensure appropriate and fair processes are followed endeavour to ensure that wherever possible or affordable reductions in staff numbers achieved through natural wastage or by means of voluntary early retirement 13.1 Voluntary Redundancies Wherever possible the option of offering voluntary redundancies will be considered, if financially viable. Thus where reductions are known to be required, an attempt must be made to ascertain which staff would wish to take voluntary redundancy if it were offered. However, the costs of voluntary redundancy may be such that management cannot accede to individual requests to be made redundant. Management, reserves the right to make compulsory redundancies where the financial cost of voluntary redundancies is prohibitive. 17

19 13.2 Measures to be taken for Minimising or Avoiding Redundancies Wherever practicable all possible steps will be taken for minimising or avoiding redundancy as follows: Forward planning of staffing needs and recruitment planning as far ahead as is practicable Reductions in overtime Redeployment and retraining Natural attrition/retirements Non-renewal of temporary employment contracts Ensure all posts are advertised through any Clearing House arrangements in place Consider possibility of voluntary redundancy (see above) (i) In relation to redeployment the following criteria will be considered in deciding whether a post is suitable alternative employment, and whether it has been unreasonably refused: Nature of the job Qualifications and skills required Career prospects Hours and how worked Travelling arrangements Personal and/or domestic circumstances Salary/Banding Working environment In relation to personal circumstances employees will be expected to show some flexibility by adapting their arrangements where possible. (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) Employees will be provided with access to any Clearing House arrangements in place at the time through NHS Jobs in order to access jobs that are restricted to employees who are on the redeployment register. Employees on the redeployment register will be expected to make every effort to access any vacancies that they consider to be suitable. Recruiting Managers should consider the potential for training when assessing candidates applications and their suitability for employment. Employees will only be entitled to apply for posts that are equivalent or one band below their substantive post at the restricted stages. Where an employee wishes to apply for a post at a higher banding, they will be required to wait until it is advertised at the appropriate stage of the Clearing House arrangements. Redeployment to a vacant post at a lower band will only be considered as an option where it is clear that the alternative is dismissal for reasons of redundancy. This will be limited to a maximum of one band below their substantive banding. Protection of earnings in such circumstances will be in accordance with Section Any offer of suitable alternative employment should be made before the old contract ends and should attempt to indicate the principal ways in which the new job differs 18

20 from the old. Where this is done but the employee fails to respond to any such offer, the employee shall be deemed to have refused suitable alternative employment. (vi) The acceptance of any suitable alternative employment, may be subject to a trial period as outlined in Section Selection Methods Selection methods will be agreed locally according to the circumstances of the reduction, the staff groups involved and the requirements of the service following the change. Any or all of the following may be considered as criteria for selection, bearing in mind the requirement to ensure that the use of any criteria does not discriminate directly or indirectly on the grounds of disability, pregnancy, gender, gender reassignment, marital status, religion or belief, race, sex, sexual orientation or age. Disciplinary records Qualifications/Skills Attendance Records Standard of work performance or aptitude/skills assessment Where an employee has a disability that is identified within the Equality Act, it may be necessary to make separate arrangements with the individual or make reasonable adjustments to take account of their circumstances. In the case where work performance is a consideration it is essential that there is formal documented and objective evidence (e.g. performance management documentation). Any assessment matrix/methodology will be shared with individual staff and Staff Side representatives Time Off to Look for Work Staff will be given reasonable time off, with pay and reimbursement of expenses within WCNHST to consult with management and staff representatives, to visit any new locations where they may be seeking alternative employment, to attend for interview and to attend training and retraining in accordance with the Travel & Subsistence Policy. Staff will be given reasonable paid time off to attend external interviews with other organisations/ NHS Trusts. Payment of expenses for external interviews is the responsibility of the recruiting organisation 13.5 Retraining Appropriate preparatory training, induction and on or off-the-job training will be provided to enable staff to move into areas of work not fully covered by their original training or recent experience. This will include attendance at any courses or seminars that may be pertinent. Reimbursement of any agreed traveling expenses should be in accordance with normal business travel as outlined in the Travel & Subsistence Policy. 19

21 13.6 Additional Assistance Any employee who has been identified suitable for redeployment as a result of possible redundancy will be given the opportunity for individual advice and support which include the provision of information about: Entitlements to payments Other possible job opportunities Preparation of CVs and interview skills Other agencies which may assist e.g. Job Centre Plus, Benefits Agency Where to access financial advice Employee Assistance Programme (PAM Assist) 13.7 Notice Periods Contractual notice should normally be served to any staff involved in a redundancy situation. Circumstances will dictate whether WCNHST can offer longer than contractual notice to maximise the possibility of redeployment opportunities arising, but every effort will be made to do so where at all possible. An employee may leave before the expiry of notice if: The employee, after having been given notice by WCNHST gives written counternotice (which with agreement may be less than the contractual period with no loss of redundancy payment rights) or may be required to leave if: The employee engages in conduct resulting in another reason for dismissal. In respect of the above WCNHST reserves the right to make an outright payment in respect of notice and redundancy entitlements by way of full and final settlement Redundancy Compensation (i) (ii) Where there is no entitlement to a pension: Redundancy payments will be in accordance with Section 16 of the Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions Handbook. This allows for a payment over and above the statutory minimum, based on NHS service and age. Where pension is payable: Redundancy compensation will be awarded in accordance with Agenda for Change terms and conditions and those of the NHS Pensions Agency. The redundancy payment applies equally in respect of voluntary or compulsory redundancies. It should be noted that Doctors, Dentists and very senior managers are not covered by the national Agenda for Change agreement and where senior staff are identified as eligible for 20

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