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Appendix A14.1

Redeployment and redundancy agreement

1. Introduction

1.1 This agreement sets out for you the general definitions of redundancy, alternatives to redundancy, consultation and announcement steps and an introduction to the Redundancy and Redeployment Committee. Alongside related guidance notes as listed in the index, it is designed to help establishments manage redundancies successfully.

1.2 The procedure described applies to the redundancy of any posts except those involving Limited Term Contracts (LTC), where the reason for the redundancy is the end of the term (appendix A14.11) Neither are employees on LTC’s to be included in redundancy selection pools under this procedure. The procedure records the steps to be taken if a redundancy situation is threatened or occurs which affects JNCC employees.

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2. General principles, aims and definitions

2.1 Under section 139 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, as amended, an employee is "taken to be dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is attributable wholly or mainly to:

  • The fact that his/her employer has ceased, or intends to cease, to carry on the business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by him, or has ceased, or intends to cease, to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or
  • The fact that the requirements of that business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where s/he was so employed, have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish."

2.2 However, there is a wider definition of redundancy for consultation purposes. Under section 195 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992, "the references to dismissal as redundant are references to dismissal for a reason not related to the individual concerned or for a number of reasons all of which are not so related". These definitions apply to this agreement.

2.3 Management and the JNCC Trade Union Side recognise the very harmful effect that redundancies can have on the efficiency of the organisation, and the potential hardship to the individuals affected. The following needs are recognised:

  • Full information must be provided to individual employees affected
  • Time must be made available to make representations which must be fully considered before a final decision is taken
  • Close co-operation between management and the JNCC Trade Union Side at all stages of the redundancy process, in accordance with the provisions of section 188 of TULR(C)A 1992, as amended

2.4 Both sides of the JNCC agree that in considering how to resolve a possible redundancy situation, there are two main principles to be followed:

  • The need to maintain the efficiency and quality of the work at all organisation levels, and to carry out the required scientific programmes
  • The need to minimise the hardship for employees

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3. Procedures, guidance & pre-redundancy measures

3.1 The detailed procedures to be followed in a redundancy situation are set out in the BBSRC Redeployment and Redundancy guide (see appendix A14.2). Guidance on procedures can also be found in the associated guidance notes on redundancy selection criteria (see appendix A14.3) and on the Redundancy and Redeployment Committee appendix 14.4.

3.2 Establishments must consider ways to avoid redundancies wherever possible and, if redundancies are unavoidable, to minimise the numbers. The following pre-redundancy measures must be considered:

  • Achieving some/all of the required reductions through natural wastage
  • Restricting or suspending external recruitment
  • Reviewing the employment of temporary contracts, where applicable
  • Reducing overtime
  • Recalling sub-contract work where practicable
  • Inviting volunteers for part-time or job share work
  • Redeploying and retraining employees

3.3 Establishments must apply to Cabinet Office, via BBSRC Office, for approval before any redundancy scheme can be implemented.

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4. Consultation and actions - general

4.1 Formal consultation will take place between NCC management and the TU sides whenever the need to make redundancies is foreseen. For the purpose of these procedures, an establishment’s financial position will be a standing item on NCC agendas and the NCC Trade Union Side (TUS) will be advised in writing when the establishment’s annual financial allocations have been finalised. The TUS will be given an up to date financial statement at each NCC meeting and information on any possible redundancies will be provided to the TUS under this item. Information on specific project funding will be provided, where this funding is subject to a specified time-scale.

4.2 Similarly, the JNCC TUS will be advised of the overall financial position of the JNCC employers and the likely effect on posts within a timescale which relates to the formulation of annual budgets, and will be updated at subsequent JNCC TUS meetings.

4.3 Where a BBSRC contractual redundancy compensation payment is involved (excluding those for LTCs), the case(s) will be referred to the Chief Executive or the head of RESAS ("the Chief Executive or equivalent" hereafter) for approval, but this cannot take place until consultation with the TUS is completed.

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5. Consultation with the Trade Union Side

5.1 When Directors are faced with funding pressures and changed scientific priorities leading to the prospect of redundancies, the NCC TUS will be advised of the position at the earliest opportunity and consultation will take place in accordance with the procedures set out in the BBSRC Redeployment and Redundancy guide appendix A14.2. The information given to the TUS during the consultation process will include, as appropriate, the selection criteria being used to select the posts to be lost, the related skills matrices and the intended selection "pool(s)". The TUS will be given an opportunity to comment on this information before it is finalised. Management must also provide information about their efforts to apply the pre-redundancy measures. Where no NCC meetings are scheduled, an extraordinary meeting (or meetings) will be called to discuss matters.

5.2 Following the NCC meeting at which information about post losses is first disclosed, the TUS will be given a minimum of 10 working days to consider ways in which the redundancies in question might be avoided. Where possible, management will present their proposed selection criteria and pools at this meeting, but if this is not possible, further formal consultation meetings will be arranged.

5.3 At the end of the initial 10 (working) day specified consultation period, a second NCC meeting will be held to consider the matter further. The aim will be to reach agreement on

  • Ways of avoiding post losses and compulsory redundancies
  • Mitigating the consequences of the redundancies and, where available at that stage
  • The selection criteria, skills matrices and selection "pools"

Voluntary redundancy will be implemented before compulsory. Where potential post losses are identified, Directors, in consultation with the TUS, will make an establishment-wide or limited call for volunteers for redundancy. Management and the TUS may also seek to identify confidentially employees who would not oppose redundancy.

5.4 Consultation with individual employees

If there are not sufficient volunteers to meet the required number of post losses, then a compulsory redundancy scheme will be implemented, (subject to Cabinet Office approval).

5.4.1 Formal consultation with individuals cannot begin until the consultation with the TUS has taken place, including consultation about selection criteria, skills matrices and selection pools. Consultation with the postholder(s) should begin at the same time as Chief Executive's approval is sought.

5.4.2 A series of separate consultation meetings will be held with individuals who are identified as potentially compulsorily redundant through the selection process outlined above.  During this process, which is set out in the Redeployment and Redundancy guide appendix A14.2, the individual will be informed in person and in writing of the situation; the written information will:

  • Explain why the establishment’s requirements for the work have ceased or diminished (justifying a post loss) and give the full reasons for the preliminary identification of the individual as redundant, including the details of the selection criteria used. The criteria will be objective and relevant. Where the individual has been selected from a group of employees undertaking broadly similar work, the relevant skills matrix will be provided
  • Set out any preliminary consideration for redeployment
  • Make available the employee compensation calculator
  • Provide a copy of the Redeployment and Redundancy Agreement

5.4.3 The NCC site TUS representatives will be notified, when the formal consultation process begins, so that the necessary support and guidance can be given to individuals. The affected individuals will have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague at any meetings to discuss the redundancy proposal.

5.4.4 A minimum of 10 working days will be allowed for individual consultation. This will allow the individual to make representations about their possible redundancy and/or to suggest ways in which the redundancy could be avoided. However, recognising that it may not always be possible for an individual to respond within the timescale specified, management should give as much time as possible for this consultation to take place.

5.4.5 Any representations made by the individual will be taken into account before a final decision is made as to which posts must be lost and which employees must be declared redundant. See Redeployment and Redundancy guide appendix A14.2.

5.4.6 Following completion of the above actions, formal notice of redundancy will be issued; the individual will have the option (a) not to contest their redundancy (b) to lodge an appeal and/or (c) to seek redeployment; under the latter two options, the case is then referred to the Redundancy and Redeployment Committee (see guidance notes about the Redundancy and Redeployment Committee appendix 14.4.

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6. Announcement of redundancies

The NCC TUS will be informed prior to issuing formal notice of redundancy to the employees affected. BBSRC Office (or the appropriate Branch of RESAS) will inform the JNCC TUS.

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7. The Redundancy and Redeployment Committee

The cases of employees who wish to be redeployed or who appeal against the loss of their post under paragraph 5.4.6 above, will be considered by an independent advisory committee - the Redundancy and Redeployment Committee. The committee's composition, terms of reference and procedures are set out in the relevant guidance notes - see appendix 14.4 and appendix A14.4i.

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8. Maternity and redundancy

Without affecting the rights of employees set out elsewhere in this agreement, all redundancy cases involving maternity or pregnancy will be treated in accordance with the policy set out in appendix A3.1 (Dignity at Work). If an employee on maternity leave is to be made redundant (for whatever reason) and there is a suitable vacancy, the employer must offer it first to the woman on maternity leave.

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9. Periods of notice

Notice periods are as specified in the Redeployment and Redundancy guide. Compensation in lieu of notice (CILON) may be payable in some circumstance (see Redeployment and Redundancy guide appendix A14.2.

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10. Compensation

The compensation available to those receiving notice of redundancy is as specified in the Research Councils Compensation Scheme rules.

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11. Resettlement

Local resettlement services will be arranged by the establishment/site HR office. In addition, all employees under threat of redundancy are entitled to Resettlement training programme, or equivalent out-placement services arranged by establishment management.

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12. External appeal

Dismissal for reasons of redundancy under this procedure does not affect an individual's statutory right of appeal to an employment tribunal.

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Last updated 20/12/12
Amendment 149 - December 2012