EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AND REDUNDANCY POLICY

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1 BD 3/2009/103 EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AND REDUNDANCY POLICY Created: September 2009 Page 1 of 12

2 Contents 1. Introduction and purpose of the policy page 3 2. Measures to preserve employment security page 3 3. Planning Organisational restructures page 4 4. Implementing new structures page 4 5. Consultation Page Initial consultation page 5 6. Appointment to posts selection criteria page Upgrading and existing posts page Ring fencing page Vacancies page 6 7. Secondees page NTA Employees page Employees Seconded in from other Organisations page 7 8 Fixed Term Contract employees page 7 9 Absent employees page 8 10 Suitable and alternative employment page Redundancy page Avoiding redundancy page Voluntary redundancy page Early retirement page Notification of redundancy page Pay protection page Redundancy page Non entitlement to redundancy payments page Support and assistance page Appeals against redundancy page 11 Page 2 of 12

3 Employment Security and Redundancy Policy and Procedures 1. Introduction and purpose The primary purpose of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) is to increase the capacity and effectiveness of drug treatment in England. In order to achieve this, the NTA invests its resources in employing and developing people with the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve its purpose. It is recognised by the NTA that in order to respond to the changing environment in which the NTA operates there may be occasions when it is necessary to alter the number of employees it employs or change the balance of skills within the organisation. This may be met by retraining and transfer but it may also involve increasing and decreasing the numbers employed in particular grades or roles. The NTA will seek to avoid compulsory redundancy where it is practicable to do so and undertakes to fully consult with members of staff and their representatives on any changes. This Policy is covered under guidelines of the Agenda for Change terms and conditions of service handbook and should be read in conjunction with the terms and conditions in paragraph 16 of the handbook. (A link can be found in paragraph 13 of this policy). If there are differences in statements in the handbook and this policy, the Agenda for Change terms and conditions of service handbook will override the statements within this policy. The Policy will be applied consistently and fairly to all employees, including Very Senior Managers (VSM s), with at least 104 weeks of continuous service with an NHS employer on a full time or part time basis. In line with the NTA s Diversity in Employment principles the application of this procedure will not discriminate directly or indirectly, against any employee particularly members of disadvantaged groups. Where employees have less than 104 weeks of continuous service with the NTA or an NHS employer, this policy will be followed in all process but not payment as they have no entitlement under Agenda for Change to receive redundancy pay. Staff representatives will be consulted on any organisational changes. 2. Measures to preserve employment security 2.1 The NTA aims to maintain stability of employment within the organisation consistent with its efficient operation. It will seek to avoid compulsory redundancy where it is practicable to do so. 2.2 Where there is the likelihood of a reduction in the number of employees, the NTA will take steps to minimise the numbers affected in consultation with representatives. These may include: Contacting other local health service employers about potential vacancies, which may provide employment for NTA employees. Page 3 of 12

4 Ensuring that expenditure reduction in non-staffing areas has been fully reviewed. Redeploying employees to vacant positions where relevant 2.3 All employees whose posts are affected by any restructuring will be encouraged to discuss their individual requirements, development/training needs and personal concerns with; their line manager, a member of HR or the NTA staff representatives so that every effort can be made to accommodate them. 2.4 The NTA reserves the right to maintain the skills and experience of employees within the organisation and in circumstances where there may be a junior position similar to the role of the at risk employee, the NTA may consider the rule of bumping. Bumping is used to retain key employees or employees whose skills and/or experience are more relevant to the running of NTA business or future needs of the business and it can occur where a more skilled and/or experienced employee whose job is made redundant bumps another employee out of their job so that the employee who is bumped becomes the employee who is at risk of redundancy. The NTA will however consider alternative employment for such employees. 3. Organisational restructures There may be times when it is necessary to make changes in the organisation to improve services, performance and efficiency. In the event of a restructure, the NTA will aim to minimise redundancies. It will follow the agreed redundancy procedures including appropriate consultation and provide communication and support to employees. The Chief Executive/Directors have delegated responsibility in planning restructures within their directorate but the final decision on confirmation of redundancy of a role and how that affects an employee rests with the Director of the directorate concerned. The decision to begin the process of a restructure rests with the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chair of the Board. Before any organisational changes are planned, management will consult: The finance department for estimates on benefits/costs (including any potential redundancies) The HR department for advice on employment law issues. It is recognised that restructuring can be unsettling for employees and that the aim should be to complete the restructuring process in the shortest practical time as possible while allowing for meaningful consultation. 4 Implementing New Structures Director Level Posts The Chief Executive will determine the number of Director level posts and roles and requirements of posts that will be directly accountable to these posts. Appointments to these posts will be made by the Chief Executive, in consultation with the nominated Chair of the Board. The process that will be followed will be in line with the steps detailed below. Page 4 of 12

5 Posts within Directorates The appropriate Director/Senior Manager will define all posts in the new structure. This will include the preparation of job descriptions and person specifications which will be measured under the Agenda for Change evaluation scheme. The proposed structure must be agreed with the Chief Executive. 5 Consultation on outcome of restructure The process of consultation involves giving any person likely to be affected by any changes brought about by a restructure a fair and proper opportunity to understand fully the matters about which they are being consulted. One of the outcomes of a restructure may be redundancies. No decisions on redundancies will be made without consultation with both the individual employees affected, and their representatives. The NTA will abide by the legal requirement to consult where redundancies are proposed but reserve the right to give a longer consultation period where both parties are in agreement. 5.1 Initial Consultation A meeting may be arranged for the initial consultation and this may be either on an individual basis or with the group of staff potentially affected by the changes. At this meeting: The reason for a redundancy situation will be presented A copy of the redundancy policy will be given to employees They will be informed of the total numbers and descriptions of the likely posts to be made redundant The proposed method of selecting the employees who may be made redundant will be described Employees will be informed of relevant timescales Entitlements to redundancy pay will be described Employees will be given an opportunity to put forward their views The reason for the redundancy and notification that jobs are at risk will be presented in writing within one week of this meeting. The NTA will consult with all employees whose employment is at risk encouraging suggestions from them on how to limit redundancy and/or to make the process easier for the employee. All suggestions will be seriously considered and reasons for decisions will be put in writing to that employee. Employees are entitled to meet with HR if they have any further queries regarding the redundancy process or require clarification of points of law. Notification of proposed cases of redundant posts will be given as soon as possible to:- Employees affected Staff Representatives Secretary of State for Employment (where this is required). No employee shall be dismissed by reason of redundancy unless there has first been an attempt to find suitable or alternative employment for the employee in question internally within the NTA. Page 5 of 12

6 Any employee served with a notice of dismissal by reason of redundancy will be allowed time off with pay to look for alternative employment, or to seek re-training as appropriate, taking into account the needs of their department. The consultation process will take place as early as is practicably possible and will always be honoured in line with the obligations within the guidelines under current UK employment legislation. 6 Appointments to new posts brought about by restructure selection criteria If organisational change has created new positions, employees can be appointed into those positions in a number of ways: 6.1 Upgrading and Existing Posts Where management determines that there is a need to upgrade an existing post and the changes in responsibility represent less than 20% of the job description either: OR The employee will slot into the new structure subject to their line manager being satisfied as to the suitability of the employee. Slotting in can only take place where: o The post in the new structure is substantially the same or where there is minimal difference to the role. o There is only one person who meets the requirements of that post. o No other members of staff would be disadvantaged by the slotting in process. Management may decide to interview the post holder to ascertain their ability to take on new /additional responsibility. If it is decided that the post holder does not have the capability, they will be placed at risk of redundancy. 6.2 Ring Fencing Where there are more employees than jobs available, employees may be ring fenced and a competitive process based on skills, knowledge and experience relevant to the post will be used. If the new position(s) is comparable to the old, in terms of similar responsibilities, accountabilities, working hours and work location, employees may be ring fenced to the new jobs and given priority opportunity for consideration These employees will be requested to express their interest in writing and will undergo an informal interview. Selection will be on the basis of the skill and the expertise required for the post. 6.3 Vacancies Where a vacancy occurs whether this be a new post created or an existing post becoming vacant and where the role is similar in duties to that of an employee who is at risk of redundancy, that employee will have the opportunity to trial that role for an agreed trial period (usually between 4 12 weeks). Where the employee at risk of redundancy does not wish to pursue the role or where the trial period has evidenced an unsuitability to the role, that role may then be subject to the normal recruitment and selection process. Page 6 of 12

7 6.4 Employees for whom it is not possible to identify a post following the selection process: May be offered a lower graded posts for which they have the skills and expertise where this occurs there may be some agreement made on salary and benefit changes. May be redeployed to other alternative suitable posts within the organisation. As a last resort, may be made redundant. Decisions as to the most appropriate course of action will be taken in discussion with the employee and will take account of their personal concerns and preferences as well as any organisation requirements. 7 Secondees 7.1 NTA Employees (internal secondments) If during a secondment the employee s substantive NTA post becomes redundant, the employee will be consulted and supported in the same way as any other employee. If their substantive post becomes at risk, nearing the end of their secondment term they will be entitled to be considered for a suitable alternative position equivalent in remuneration to that of their substantive role that became redundant. 7.2 Employees Seconded in from other organisations (external secondments) Employees seconded in from other organisations may be terminated under the terms of their secondment agreement where their NTA role is a suitable alternative for an NTA employee who is at risk. An employee who is on secondment into the NTA from an external organisation whose seconded post becomes at risk will be terminated under the terms of their secondment agreement as they have a substantive role to return to, Where a seconded in employee becomes redundant from their substantive role, the NTA will consider employing that secondee into the NTA role but this will be with effect from the time that the redundancy and any notice period ends. The role will not be subject to continuous employment. 8 Fixed Term Contract (FTC) employees Fixed term employees have the same redundancy rights as permanent employees if they have 104 weeks or more continuous service with the NTA or NHS. FTC employees will not be selected for redundancy because of their employment status. However an FTC employee may be selected for redundancy if they were originally brought in to complete a particular project, task or cover for a certain period at the end of their contracts where that contract ends earlier than the fixed term contract agreed at commencement of the employment. Where length of service is the main criteria for redundancy selection, this will apply to both FTC and permanent employees unless there is objective justification. Page 7 of 12

8 9 Absent employees Where employees are absent during the consultation period due to annual leave, sickness, maternity etc, the NTA will make provision to contact them at the same time as employees attending work. 10 Suitable and alternative employment The NTA will consider whether employees at risk of redundancy can be offered alternative employment. Where alternative work is available, the employee will be given sufficient details to enable them decide about the job and will usually agree a trial period in the role (usually between 4 12 weeks).where this occurs there may be some agreement made on salary and benefit changes Determining whether alternative work may be considered suitable is dependant on a number of factors including; Location in terms of additional daily travelling distances and length of travelling time. Additional travelling costs will be reimbursed for a period of four years in accordance with the Agenda for Change terms and conditions of service handbook Capacity the employee s qualifications and their ability to perform the duties and any additional training required. This is subject to the recipient manager being satisfied as to the suitability of the employee. Status in terms of the proposed post, grade and position within the organisation. A post carrying salary protection for a period of time for the employee would normally be considered suitable. Hours of work any changes to the employee s hours of work 10.2 In measuring the suitability, a post (whether within the NTA or within the NHS) will be considered by the NTA to be suitable if broad equivalency is achieved. It will not always be possible to achieve an exact match For the purposes of this policy any suitable alternative employment must be brought to the employee s notice in writing or by electronic means agreed with the employee before the date of termination and with reasonable time for the employee to consider it. The employment should be available not later than four weeks from that date. Where this is done, but the employee fails to make any necessary application, the employee shall be deemed to have refused suitable alternative employment Where an employee accepts suitable alternative employment they are entitled to a mutually agreed trial period of between 4 weeks 12 weeks. This is an opportunity to give both parties the opportunity to decide whether the new job is suitable If the employee leaves or gives notice within the trial period, the employee will receive the previously agreed a redundancy payment only if the job was unsuitable (and they have 104 weeks or more continuous service with the NTA or NHS). If the employee is dismissed within the trial period, the employee will still be entitled to redundancy payment unless the dismissal is for a reason unconnected with the trial period for the job. Page 8 of 12

9 10.6 In the event of redeployment to a significantly different role, re-training will be considered to a specification agreed with the employee and a mutually agreed trial period for the training to take effect will be allowed, in accordance with the Employment Rights Act At the end of this period one of the following will result: The post will be confirmed as substantive. Further suitable alternative employment will be considered. The employee will be made redundant. 11 Redundancy Redundancy in the NTA will occur when a job has disappeared because; The NTA ceases or is no longer going to carry out the business or service for which the person was employed The requirements for employees to perform work of a specific type in which they are employed have ceased or diminished Significant changes to working practices resulting in a requirement for different skills (e.g. due to organisational re-structure). This list is not exhaustive Avoiding Redundancies The NTA will aim to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible by aiming to: Offer suitable alternative employment where this exists (see 10 above) Restrict recruitment in areas where alternative employment may exist Reduce numbers of contractors/agency workers in areas where alternative employment may exist Replace inward secondees in areas where alternative employment may exist Provide opportunities for re-training and redeployment where possible Taking into account employee preferences e.g. change in work location, reduction in working hours or other flexible working options Considering requests for voluntary redundancy (see 11.2 below) 11.2 Voluntary redundancy The NTA will, where this is appropriate, seek volunteers from the workforce to apply for redundancy. Voluntary redundancy may not always be considered for financial and operational reasons and the NTA will aim to find suitable alternative employment for all redundant employees, even if they had stated a preference for voluntary redundancy. Voluntary redundancy will only be agreed where there is a clear organisational benefit and it does not involve the loss of key knowledge and skills from the organisation. In selecting employees for voluntary redundancy, the overriding consideration will be to ensure that the NTA retains those employees who have the necessary skills for it to remain viable. The following reasons will be included within the criteria when selecting employees for redundancy. The list is not given in any particular order: Record of attendance (not including absence due to accidents on duty). Record of performance. Page 9 of 12

10 Length of service with the NTA and the NHS. An employee s skill and knowledge and any potential need to re-train. Costs Disability Early Retirement The NTA will, where this is appropriate, seek volunteers from the workforce to apply for early retirement and, subject to funding, can be initiated, without detriment to the viability of the organisation. Pensions benefits for employees taking early retirement on the grounds of redundancy will be in accordance with the Agenda for Change Terms and conditions of service. This is only available to employees who are aged 50 and over and employees affected by these criteria must ensure that they read and understand the implications of this. The impact of early retirement on employee benefits, and other implications are set out in the Members Guide - SD Guide (PDF 15521kb). Further information is on the NHS Pensions website: Notification of Redundancy Employees will be seen individually or in the presence (if they wish) of their representative, by their line manager and HR representative to be informed that they are to be dismissed on the grounds of redundancy. The employee will also be notified of their rights of appeal. Directors will be seen individually or in the presence (if they wish) of their representative by the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive will be seen individually or in the presence (if they wish) of their representative by the Chair. The redundancy will be confirmed in writing and employees will receive the appropriate period of notice (or payment in compensation for loss of notice entitlement) and any annual leave owing to them. The date of termination will be their last working day 12 Pay Protection If a person is appointed to a post in a lower grade, salary will be protected for a period of 3 years. During this period, pay will be frozen. After the three year period the salary will be lowered to that currently offered for the post with any increases that would have occurred had the employee been placed on that lower salary at the time of taking up the post. Page 10 of 12

11 13 Redundancy Payments If no suitable alternative employment can be identified and an employee is redundant, they will be paid redundancy in accordance with the guidelines under the Agenda for Change terms and conditions of service, which can be found on the NHS Employers website current version is amendment number 13 (updated April 2009). The link to this is: Handbookrp.aspx The NTA will usually pay redundancy payments one month after the termination date Non entitlement to redundancy payments Employees will forfeit the right to receive their redundancy benefits in the following circumstances: They are dismissed for misconduct. They obtain employment within four weeks of their termination date with another NHS employer. They unreasonably refuse to accept or to apply for suitable alternative employment with the NTA or another NHS employer They unreasonably refuse to transfer to another public service or health service employer (with substitution of the new employer for the old one) and the transfer is in accordance with the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulation 1981 as amended in the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act They leave their employment before the expiry of their notice period except where this has been mutually agreed between the employee and the NTA. Where this agreement is made because the employee has obtained employment outside the NHS, the last working day shall become the last day of service, and the redundancy payment recalculated accordingly. They achieve 65 years of age on or before their last day of service. 14 Support and Assistance HR will provide support, advice and assistance upon request by any employee during the implementation of any new arrangements. This may include advice on the preparation of applications, help in preparation of interview and support in assessing options available for new roles. For displaced employees, assistance and support will be available in identifying alternative opportunities or gaining access to potential employers. If external outplacement support would be beneficial this will be considered. 15 Appeals against Redundancy Employees who are selected for redundancy or dismissed because of redundancy have the right to appeal if they consider they have been unfairly selected. Any appeal should be made within 10 days of the date of the dismissal letter and should be lodged in writing to the Director of Corporate Services. The NTA will endeavour to have an appeal heard within 4 weeks of receipt of an appeal whenever possible. Page 11 of 12

12 The member(s) of the appeal panel will not include any member of the NTA who has been directly involved in the circumstances leading to the redundancy. The employee and their representative must submit full details of the reasons for the appeal to HR at least 5 working days before the appeal hearing is convened. The decision of the appeal will be final. This Policy is covered under UK employment legislation and under the guidelines of the the Agenda for Change terms and conditions of service handbook amendment number 13 (updated April 2009). In the event of any differences, the Agenda for Change terms and conditions of service handbook will override the terms within this policy, however UK employment law statements override both. Page 12 of 12

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