- General Principles
The first responsibility of the Trust is to provide efficient and effective services and, as part of that process, to keep under review its staffing requirements having regard to changes in the nature of service delivery, whether by reason of Trust decisions, Government policy, or changes in the nature of the service demands and methodologies.
Within this context, the Trust believes that it has a responsibility to safeguard, as far as possible, the job security of its employees and to provide quality services by maintaining realistic staffing levels.
This Policy is intended to establish a background against which necessary decisions to reduce employee levels should be dealt with.
Where staffing levels need to be reduced, the Trust recognises the importance of:-
- minimising the number of compulsory redundancies,
- communicating effectively with employees and Trade Unions, and
- fair and sensitive handling of those employees affected.
Where compulsory redundancy is deemed necessary, the Trust will handle the process in a fair, consistent, non-discriminatory and, wherever practicable and appropriate, objective manner. .
This policy will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it reflects the Trust’s legal obligations and its organisational and business needs.
- Avoiding Compulsory Redundancy
When the Trust identifies that staffing reductions are necessary, the company will seek to avoid or minimise the number of possible redundancies by considering any or all of the following:-
- Restricting recruitment in affected categories of employee and in those areas into which affected employees might be redeployed
- Reducing or eliminating overtime in affected departments.
- Reducing or eliminating the use of casual workers
- Introduction of short-term working
- Re-training and re-development where practicable
- Seeking voluntary earnings reductions
- Seeking applications for voluntary severance
- Freezing or reducing the number of temporary employees
Whilst the Trust will consider the above measures, it must also consider the needs of the business and nothing in the Policy places an obligation on the Trust to implement any specific measures.
- MAKING COMPULSORY REDUNDANCIES
When it is not possible to avoid making compulsory redundancies, all affected employees and recognised Trade Unions will be advised that compulsory redundancies cannot be avoided. The Trust shall consult with the appropriate Trade Union(s) for the category of employee(s) to be made redundant (even if the employee(s) in question are not a member(s) of the Union(s)), as soon as it is known that redundancies will need to be made or are likely to be made. This consultation will be undertaken with a view to avoiding or limiting the effects of collective redundancies. The Trade Unions will also be consulted on the procedure that will be followed and the criteria that will be applied.
The criteria used to select those employees who will potentially be made redundant will be transparent, fair and based on the skills required to meet the Trust’s existing and anticipated business needs. Wherever practicable and appropriate, the criteria will be objective.
Those employees who have been provisionally selected for redundancy will be consulted with individually.
Where selection for redundancy is confirmed, employees selected for redundancy will be given notice of termination of employment in accordance with their contracts and written confirmation of the payments that they will receive.
Where an employee(s) consider(s) that the selection criteria has not been fairly applied in their particular case there will be an entitlement, on these grounds alone to make representation to an Appeals Panel consisting of the Managing Director, a member of the Board of Directors and the Head of HR & Payroll.
The employee or his representative shall write to the Head of HR & Payroll stating in detail the specific unfairness in his individual case. Such notification must be lodged within 5 working days from the date of the decision on selection.
The Appeals Panel shall be convened at the earliest possible date and its decision shall be final.
The Trust will continue to look for alternative employment for redundant employees and inform them of any vacancies that it has until their termination dates. The manner in which redundant employees will be invited to apply for and be interviewed for vacancies will be organised depending on the circumstances existing at the time. Alternative employment may be offered subject to a trial period where appropriate.
Where the Trust is unable to offer alternative employment it will assist employees to look for work with other employers. Employees under notice of redundancy will be entitled to take a reasonable amount of paid time off work to look for alternative employment or to arrange training for future employment.