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  • Appendix 1 - University of Dundee Redeployment Procedure
  • Appendix 2 - Example letter for offer of Redeployment

Redundancy Avoidance Agreement and Code of Practice

    1. Introduction
    2. Avoiding Redundancies
    3. Formal Consultation Procedures
    4. Statutes
    5. Facility Time

1. Introduction

1.1       This document provides a framework to outline underpinning principles for carrying out collective consultation between the University and the campus unions: DUCU, Unite and UNISON for the avoidance of redundancies. It is not intended to remove any current protections afforded to staff under their contracts of employment or under existing legislation. This procedure applies to all staff including those on fixed-term contracts and/or part-time contracts, open ended contracts, contract research staff and hourly paid staff. The framework and any agreements made under it will give due regard to the ACAS code of practice on redundancy handling and the joint agreed ACAS guidance ‘Digest on Job Security: a reference document for Higher Education institutions with input from UCEA and the HE Trade Unions’.

1.2       It is the intention of this agreement to encourage engagement of the campus unions in the planning and taking forward of organisational change. By implementing all the measures associated with this agreement, the University and the campus unions acknowledge their duties to enter into genuine and meaningful consultation to discuss ways to avoid redundancies.

1.3       This policy applies only to Redundancy situations

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2.  Avoiding Redundancies

2.1  To this end, the University has in place a Collective Consultation Committee to discuss Redundancy Avoidance.  It will consist of 3 management and 3 union representatives: one from each campus union.  In addition, each of the campus unions will be entitled to bring one other member of their union to the meeting.  The management representatives will comprise the University Secretary, the Director of Finance, the Director of Human Resources and they will also be entitled to bring another member to the meeting.  Subject to management and union representatives agreeing, additional members may be asked to attend on an ad-hoc basis, as appropriate.

2.2  Regular meetings of the Collective Consultation Committee will be scheduled throughout the year to identify any potential future matters regarding funding and organisational change issues, with the specific intent of avoiding redundancies (for example, those arising from a fall in student numbers).   The University commits to the disclosure of all necessary (including financial) information, to enable an informed dialogue and to enable the sharing of otherwise exempt and sensitive information.  The campus unions recognise that it may first be necessary to agree with the University a structure and wording on the disclosure of such information and the extent of this, so that it facilitates engagement in the consultation on ways to avoid redundancies.    

2.3  The Committee will develop an agreed communication strategy which will ensure that campus union representatives remain accountable to their constituencies and that the employer can keep all staff apprised of developments. Meetings will be minuted and copies of the minutes made available for agreement to the campus unions as soon as practicable after the meetings.  Where the content is of a confidential nature the campus unions and the University will agree on the method and timing of the dissemination of the information contained in the minutes.

2.4  The Committee will also oversee the arrangements for:

2.5  In potential redundancy situations, the University recognises the benefit of early and meaningful consultation with the campus unions.

2.6  The University also recognises its statutory obligations in respect of consultation.  Consultation will include consideration of the steps to avoid compulsory redundancy listed in 2.7 below and will be with a view to reaching an agreement.  Early consultation regarding these steps will take place at the point where a potential redundancy situation is identified and prior to formal notification of a redundancy situation.   The University and the campus unions commit to genuine and meaningful consultation.

2.7  Consultation will include discussion on the appropriateness and practicality of the following measures on each occasion that a redundancy situation arises:

2.8  A central budget will be retained by Human Resources to meet the cost of any necessary training associated with redeployment to posts within the University.

2.9  The University does and will continue to pay Statutory Redundancy Pay as the norm where staff have 2 years or more service.  However, it will, on occasion and at its discretion (e.g. in major restructuring or reorganisations exercises) give consideration to:

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3.  Formal Consultation Procedures

3.1  In the eventuality that the measures outlined in section 2 fail to remove the potential redundancy situation, for the purposes of consultation the University will provide the campus unions with the following information:          

and any such information as may be mutually agreed.

3.2  The University will actively engage with the campus unions with a view to reaching agreement about ways of:

This will include ring-fencing vacancies that represent suitable alternative employment or redeployment opportunities for a period and the arrangements for the calculation of Statutory Redundancy Pay.

The University will consult with the campus unions during the appropriate statutory period to enable them to consider the information provided, to seek clarification, or challenge assumptions and to put forward their own views or proposals. The University will give these proper consideration and answer them in writing explaining any changes to the original proposals, the reasons for rejecting any alternative proposal and confirming the final proposals.

The University will conduct equality impact assessments in line with current legislation in force at the time and guidance provided by relevant bodies (e.g. Funding Councils, JNCHES, ECU).  It will consult the campus unions to ensure prior consideration is given to whether the proposals indicate cause for concern by having a disproportionate effect on any protected group.

3.3  In addition to the consultation with the campus unions as the recognised trades union, the University will engage in individual consultation with those staff affected. This will include discussion about how the University can mitigate the potential redundancy by such means as transferable skills and redeployment options, including the potential for retraining.  Staff will have the right to be accompanied by their trade union representative or staff colleague in all individual consultation meetings of this description.

3.4  The minimum period for consultation is prescribed by S188 of the ‘Trade Unions and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992’ but the employer will notify the campus unions at as early a time as possible to allow meaningful consultation on the avoidance of compulsory redundancies. Consultation must take place before any final decisions have been made for it to be meaningful.

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4.  Statutes

In considering the local application of this agreement, parties will pay regard to existing University statutes or to any agreed procedures in force from time to time.

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5.  Facility Time

The University values the input of the campus union representatives as well as acknowledging the legal requirement to collectively consult them for the purpose of jointly considering how potential redundancies may be avoided or mitigated.  

In recognition, the University affords the relevant trade union representatives necessary facility time in accordance with the Letters of Comfort to contribute to the consultation and related activities associated with this policy.

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Version Control
Version 1.1 (Approved at LJC May 2013)