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1. Context and Policy Statement

1.1 The University needs to remain responsive and flexible in how it operates to ensure it continues to deliver education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. This will involve a process of continuous service improvement and innovation which will often result in the need for organisational change such as the introduction of new technology or systems, strategy or staffing changes. External factors may also necessitate the need for organisational change, such as change in government policy, legislation and market conditions.

1.2 The University is committed to managing organisational change in a fair, consistent and legally-compliant manner. It is also committed to communicating openly and transparently and will undertake meaningful consultation with affected employees and their representatives, where applicable. This policy should be read in conjunction with the associated guidance document and will be followed in all circumstances of organisational change.

1.3 For the purposes of this Policy, “organisational change” refers to situations in which teams or services are restructured in such a way as to impact directly on the terms and conditions, scope and/or nature of individual roles. Organisational change can include mergers, re-structuring or introducing materially different working practices. In certain circumstances, the changes proposed may be significant and redundancies may take effect as a result. Organisational Change does not include minor changes, such as variations to the working environment or line management structures where there is no change to contractual terms and conditions and where a substantial part of the employee’s experience at work is unchanged. In these cases a fair and reasonable process must nevertheless be followed and this should be carried out in a consultative manner (see 3.1.6).

1.4 The University will take all reasonable steps to support employees facing change, redundancy or redeployment to minimise adverse impacts of change and to ensure that employees are provided with the tools and support to cope with change effectively and maintain their wellbeing. Further guidance on supporting employees through change is provided in the Guidance that accompanies the policy. In turn, employees are encouraged to recognise and understand the organisational requirements that drive change and the importance of being responsive, flexible and open to the need for change.

1.5 The nature, size and scope of organisational change can vary considerably. The University will adapt this process, where appropriate, to reflect the circumstances of each proposed change in consultation with employees and their representatives. The types of adaptations that may be appropriate are explained in the Guidance that accompanies this policy.

1.6 The University is committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible. However, the needs of Institutions may, from time to time, require a reduction in the overall number of staff employed or organisational changes that result in some employees being made redundant. In the event that a redundancy situation arises, the University, in conjunction with its employees and trade unions, is committed to minimising and managing the impact of redundancies. Please see section 3.1.10 on redundancy avoidance.

1.7 This policy supersedes the Compulsory Redundancy Avoidance Policy and guidance and the interim Organisational Change Key Principles, which were agreed in Michaelmas Term 2014.

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