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4. Support

4.1 The University is committed to minimising the adverse impacts of organisational change and to ensure that employees are provided with the tools and support to cope with organisational change effectively and maintain their wellbeing.  The Guidance document which accompanies this policy provides further information on how best to support team members during times of organisational change and gives advice about health and well-being.

Support Services

4.2 The following support services are available:

Redeployment Support

4.3 The University will do all that is reasonably practicable to assist staff at risk of redundancy, as a result of organisational change, to find suitable alternative employment as early as possible.

4.4 Support in seeking redeployment will be offered to all employees who have been placed at risk of redundancy, including those employed on fixed-term contracts, as early as possible and for the full duration of the change period.

4.5 If an employee holds a visa to work in the UK then advice should be sought from HR on the impact of a proposed change in role on his or her visa.

4.6 Employees who wish to receive support will be provided with advice and assistance in preparing job applications, updating CVs, writing covering letters and interview preparation.  Employees will also be provided with details of where the University advertises its vacancies.  A list of current vacancies can be sent to those employees without access to a computer.  A summary of an employee’s skills, experience and the type of role sought can also be sent to the relevant departmental administration staff to be matched with any vacancies that may arise.  While priority will be given wherever possible to employees at risk of redundancy, the University reserves the right to select the best available candidate in relation to any given vacancy.

4.7 If it becomes apparent that other employees have the set of skills and experience required for the role, the Institution should advertise the role internally in the first instance for a minimum of two weeks.

4.8 Employees who need to bridge skills gaps will be allowed to attend any available and free internal training offered by Personal and Professional Development, the University Information Services or the Finance Division once they have been notified that they are at risk of redundancy.

4.9 Employees will also be entitled to a reasonable amount of paid time off to look for alternative employment, including outside the University, and attend interviews or training that is relevant for future employment.  The employee should follow the normal processes for notifying his or her manager of planned time-off.

Trial Periods

4.10 Where an offer of alternative employment is made, employees under notice of redundancy have a statutory right to a trial period of four weeks. A trial period will start on the employee's first working day in the new role. Please note that Assistant Staff on contracts with a continuous service date prior to 1 October 2003 will have the option of a 12-week trial period (Employment Protection: Code of Practice and Procedure section 4.5).

4.11 If during the trial period the employment is terminated by the University for a reason connected to the change in roles, the employee will be treated as having been dismissed by reason of redundancy on the date their original contract ended and will remain eligible for a redundancy payment.  The same will apply if the alternative employment was not “suitable”, and the employee nonetheless attempted a trial period but terminated the employment during the trial period.

4.12 If an employee unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment (including during the trial period), they will be treated as having been dismissed but will lose their right to a statutory redundancy payment.

4.13 If a trial period is successful, employment in the role will continue and this will be confirmed in writing to the employee.  The employee will no longer be entitled to redundancy pay.

4.14 Further information on trial periods can be found in the Guidance document that accompanies this policy.  Advice and guidance should also be sought from the relevant HR School team.

Pay Protection

4.15 If an employee accepts redeployment from a higher to a lower graded post, pay protection will apply.  Protection arrangements will not apply where the alternative post is more than one grade lower than the employee's existing grade.  Further advice on pay protection can be found in the Pay Protection Policy.

Reasonable Adjustments

4.16 Reasonable adjustments will be considered to accommodate individual needs throughout the organisational change process, including adjustments to the selection process or roles in the new structure.

4.17 Employees with a disability are encouraged to discuss with their manager what reasonable adjustments they would like the organisation to consider for them.  The manager will decide what is reasonable under the specific circumstances.  Further information and advice on reasonable adjustments can be found in the Guidance document that accompanies this policy or from the relevant HR School team.

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

4.18 If an employee's position is made redundant during maternity, adoption or parental leave, the employee is entitled to:

  • a suitable alternative vacancy, where one is available. The new contract must be offered before the end of the original contract and it must take effect immediately on the ending of the original contract. The work under the new contract must be both suitable and appropriate for them to do in the circumstances and the terms and conditions no less favourable than their original contract
  • any suitable alternative vacancies that exist before they are offered to other employees. The employee therefore has priority over other employees who are also at risk of redundancy
  • redundancy pay, if their post is made redundant. However, if the employee unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment they may forfeit their right to a redundancy payment.

4.19 Further advice on pregnancy and maternity leave can be found in the Guidance document that accompanies this policy.

Concerns and Appeals

4.20 Employees who feel that they have been treated unfairly under any section of the Organisational Change Policy can, in the first instance, raise the matter with their manager, Head of Institution, HR School Team and/or Trade Union.  Ultimately, employees have the right to raise the matter through the relevant grievance procedure for their staff category.

4.21 Employees have a right to appeal against a decision to be dismissed on grounds of redundancy in accordance with the relevant procedures dependant of the staff category e.g. for assistant staff through the University and Assistants Joint Board.

Accompaniment and Representation

4.22 An employee has the right to be accompanied to formal consultation meetings by either a trade union representative or a colleague who is an employee of the University.  The employee must confirm their companion’s identity to the manager conducting the meeting at least two days before it is due to take place.

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