Principles and standards

1 The following principles and standards apply to all procedures detailed in these Ordinances.

2 These procedures apply to all members of staff except those engaged on a claims basis and Graduate Teaching Assistant.

3 Where there is an issue as to the meaning of ‘academic freedom’ in any proceedings under these Ordinances, regard shall be had to the agreement with the University and College Union regarding the definition of academic freedom dated 31 July 2009.

4 The decision of the appropriate manager/panel on which procedure is to be followed shall be final.

5 The application of these Ordinances/Procedures may be modified by the Director of Human Resources in cases where a member of staff employed by the University works in, or is managed by employees of, a third party organisation, including in cases of secondment. In particular:

  • the Director of Human Resources may authorise managers employed by the partner organisation to take action under these procedures, in conjunction with, or in substitution for, appropriate University Managers;
  • where a member of staff raises a complaint about his/her treatment by a partner organisation or any of its employees, the University shall endeavour to deal with the complaint within the spirit of the Grievance Procedure, as far as is practicable to do so;
  • for the avoidance of doubt, action under these procedures may be taken in respect of the member of staff's conduct or performance during his/her work for the partner organisation.

6 An employee has the right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union representative at any meeting under the formal stages of these procedures.

7 An employee may ask for meetings under the formal stages of these procedures to be postponed for up to one week, on one occasion only. Following such a postponement, the University reserves the right to proceed with the meeting in the employee’s absence.

8 The Director of Human Resources must be involved at all formal stages of these procedures. References to the Director of Human Resources include a designate of the Director of Human Resources.

9 Time limits (other than those for prior notification of meetings/disclosure of documentation before meetings) are indicative – there may be circumstances, particularly in the case of complex cases, where these are not realistic. If it is not possible to respond or take action within the time limits referred to in this Procedure, the employee should be given an explanation for the delay and told when a response can be expected. The time limits may be varied by mutual agreement in individual cases.

10 References to academic managers in these procedures means staff in the academic job families with line management responsibility.

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1 Principles

1.1 Before a decision is taken to effect redundancies, the University will consult with individual employees and/or their representatives, having due regard to any consultation required in accordance with Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act (‘TULRCA’), on how to avoid the redundancies or reduce the numbers involved and, once a decision has been taken to proceed, about the means of effecting redundancies.

1.2 The University will consider redeployment for staff who are identified as being ‘at risk’ through the application of the Redundancy Procedure, in accordance with the University’s Redeployment Procedure, until their employment with the University ends.

1.3 Nothing in this Procedure shall preclude the University from seeking volunteers for dismissal by reason of redundancy or oblige the University to seek volunteers; and nothing in this Procedure shall preclude any employee agreeing to voluntary severance at any time or oblige the University to accept applications for voluntary severance.

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2 Scope and definitions

2.1 For the purposes of this procedure, redundancy is defined in accordance with Section 139 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 or successor legislation.

2.2 This procedure does not apply to the proposed dismissal of an employee where that dismissal would arise from the expiry without renewal of a fixed term contract (where a separate procedure applies);

2.3 The pool for selection is the group of employees from which those who are to be made redundant will be drawn. The pool will depend upon the area or areas of activity in which the University's requirements for employees to carry out work of a particular kind have ceased or diminished. The pool will vary from situation to situation depending on the extent to which there are other roles undertaking the same or similar work and the extent to which these roles can be deemed interchangeable. In some cases (for example, in relation to a very specialist post) the role may be unique and there will not be a pool, in which case there is no selection decision to be made and the individual is provisionally selected for redundancy on the basis that the position is unique.

2.4 Where there is a pool, selection criteria will be developed to determine which employee(s) should be put forward for redundancy. Selection criteria will normally be based on the current and future needs of the College/Service in relation to that specific area of activity.

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3 Determination by the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group

3.1 Where the dismissal of an employee or employees by reason of redundancy is being considered, the manager shall (in consultation with the Director of Human Resources and taking account of guidance issued by Human Resources on managing restructuring and redundancy) submit a report to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group advising of:

  • the reason for the proposed redundancies;
  • the Services, Colleges or other units within which it is proposed that the dismissals would take place (‘the affected units’);
  • the total number of redundancies proposed and their categories or descriptions;
  • the total numbers of employees employed in the affected unit of each such category or description;
  • the proposed timescale over which it is proposed that the redundancies would take place;
  • the proposed pool for selection and the proposed criteria for selection (or an explanation why an individual employee has been provisionally selected for redundancy on the basis that the position is unique), including whether the procedures in paragraph 6 or paragraph 7 of this Procedure should be instituted to effect the proposed redundancy or redundancies;
  • the consultation which will take place with employees in the affected units and appropriate representatives of the employee(s).

3.2 After considering a report under paragraph 3.1, the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group will authorise the commencement of consultation on the proposals set out in the report (as modified, if appropriate, by the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group), in accordance with paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2, and, subject to the outcome of this consultation (and unless significant changes are agreed so that paragraph 4.3 applies) the implementation of the proposed redundancy or redundancies.

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4 Consultation

4.1 Following a decision by the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group under section 3.2, the manager shall (in consultation with the Director of Human Resources and taking account of guidance issued by Human Resources on managing restructuring and redundancy) consult with employees in the affected unit(s) and with appropriate representatives of the employee(s) in accordance with and to the extent required by Section 188 TULRCA.

4.2 The discussion and consultation will include:

  • the reason for the proposed redundancies;
  • the Services, Colleges or other units within which it is proposed that the dismissals would take place (‘the affected units’);
  • the total number of redundancies proposed and their categories or descriptions;
  • the total numbers of employees employed in the affected unit of each such category or description;
  • the proposed timescale over which it is proposed that the redundancies would take place;
  • the proposed pool for selection and the proposed criteria for selection (or an explanation why an individual employee has been provisionally selected for redundancy on the basis that the position is unique).

4.3 If, following this consultation, there are any significant changes to the proposals set out in the report made to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group under paragraph 3.1 (as modified, if appropriate, by the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group), a further report shall be made to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group.

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5 Authority to take formal action under this procedure

5.1 The Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Secretary, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, College Deans, Heads of Service and College Managers are authorised, following appropriate training, to take action under this procedure following consultation with the Director of Human Resources.

5.2 Formal action under this procedure in respect of staff in the academic job families will be taken by academic managers.

5.3 Following appropriate training, the Director of Human Resources may authorise other named managers to take action under this procedure following consultation with the Director of Human Resources.

5.4 References in section 6 of this procedure to ‘the manager’ may mean a panel of managers authorised to take formal action under this procedure who are involved in the selection decision.

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6 Procedure where a pool exists

6.1 Following consultation under paragraph 4, the manager authorised under paragraph 5 above (‘the manager’) will inform in writing those employees falling within the pool for selection:

  • the pool for selection from which redundancies will be effected by the application of selection criteria;
  • the total number of staff employed in that group of affected staff;
  • the total number of staff to be dismissed from that group by reason of redundancy;
  • the selection criteria to be used to determine which employees within the affected group are to be dismissed by reason of redundancy;
  • who will assess the staff within the affected group against the selection criteria;
  • when the assessment of affected staff against that criteria will take place.

6.2 Taking account of guidance issued by Human Resources on managing restructuring and redundancy and the procedures notified to employees under paragraph 6.1, the manager shall decide who shall be given notice of dismissal on the grounds of redundancy. Before an employee is given written notification of dismissal on the grounds of redundancy, they will be invited to attend a meeting with a nominated manager to explain why the employee is at risk of redundancy, advise the employee of their right to appeal and allow the employee to ask questions about their selection for redundancy. The employee may be accompanied at this meeting by a fellow worker or trade union representative.

6.3 Following the meeting, written notification will sent to employees who are to be dismissed. The written notification shall:

  • summarise the reasons for the dismissal and why they were selected;
  • advise them of their right to appeal;
  • give notice of dismissal on the grounds of redundancy.

6.4 Those employees within the relevant group of affected staff not provisionally selected for redundancy shall be advised in writing that, although not provisionally selected at this stage, that position could change as a result of meetings with or appeals by provisionally selected employees under this Procedure.

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7 Procedure where a pool does not exist

7.1 The employee to whom this paragraph applies shall be notified in writing of the reasons for their proposed dismissal and shall be invited to a meeting at which they can make oral or written representations. For the avoidance of doubt, such representations may include representations as to alternatives to dismissal or representations that it would be appropriate to select for dismissal by reason of redundancy from a wider group of staff within a particular College, Service or other unit and/or of staff of a particular description or category.

7.2 Taking account of all the information provided and the representations made, the manager shall decide whether the employee shall be given notice of dismissal on the grounds of redundancy or whether the case should be referred to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group for consideration under paragraph 4 of this procedure.

7.3 Following the meeting, the employee shall be advised in writing of the decision taken and the reasons for it. Where the decision is that the employee is to be dismissed, the letter shall:

  • summarise the reasons for the dismissal and why he/she was selected;
  • advise him/her of the right to appeal;
  • give notice of dismissal on the grounds of redundancy.

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8 Appeal

8.1 An employee has a right of appeal against a decision made to select them for redundancy following the application of the procedure in paragraph 6 or paragraph 7. An employee cannot appeal on the decision to institute redundancy procedures made in accordance with paragraph 4 of this procedure.

8.2 The right of appeal must be exercised within two weeks of the date of the written outcome of the manager’s decision.

8.3 The appeal, stating the grounds on which it is made, must be in writing addressed to the Director of Human Resources.

8.4 An appeal will be heard by a panel comprising two senior managers who have had no previous involvement in the case drawn from members of the Senior Management Group.

8.5 The University will aim for an appeal to be heard within four weeks of the appeal being lodged, unless otherwise agreed between the parties.

8.6 The appeal will be a review of the decision taken by the manager.

8.7 The appeal panel may:

  • confirm the decision to dismiss the member of staff;
  • revoke the decision to dismiss and reinstate the member of staff; or
  • remit the decision to be considered further in accordance with the procedure in paragraph 6 or paragraph 7, as the Appeal Panel shall specify.

8.8 The decision of the appeal body shall be final within the procedures of the University.

8.9 The procedure to be followed at appeal hearings is detailed in Ordinance 26.

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