University of Oxford Homepage


 

Regulations for the Redundancy Panel


Council Regulations 2 of 2017

Made by Council with effect from 15 February 2017 (Supplement (1) to Gazette No 5149, 16 November 2016)

1. The Redundancy Panel (“the Panel”) shall consider cases referred to it according to Statute XII sections 12 and 13 only after the University’s personnel procedures applicable to potential redundancies in academic and academic-related staff on permanent, self-financing and open-ended contracts, and to early termination of academic and academic-related fixed-term contracts, have been followed up to and including full consideration of alternatives to compulsory redundancy.

2. The Panel shall be comprised of five members drawn from a pool elected from and by Congregation in accordance with regulations governing the membership of panels convened under Parts B, D and H of Statute XII.

3. The University and College Union (UCU) will be invited to provide a representative to attend the Panel meeting as an observer for the purpose of reporting to the joint consultative committee only, and on the basis that proceedings before the Panel shall remain confidential until notification of the decision reached by the Panel is communicated to the affected member or members of staff.

4. The Panel shall meet as and when required.

5. The Panel can only consider cases that meet the following definition of redundancy based on the Employment Rights Act 1996, section 139, as amended or re-enacted from time to time.

6. A dismissal is by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is attributable wholly or mainly to:

(1) the fact that his employer has ceased, or intends to cease,

(a) to carry on the activity for the purposes of which the employee was employed by it, or

(b) to carry on that activity in the place where the employee was so employed, or

(2) the fact that the requirements of the University

(a) for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or

(b) for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employer,

have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.

7. The procedure to be adopted by the Panel will be as follows.

(1) The Panel will consider only formal proposals for redundancy forwarded by Divisional Boards or other appropriate authorities.

(2) The formal proposals should be submitted in the first instance to the Director of Human Resources, who will forward a copy to the UCU joint secretary.

(3) The Panel will be convened and supported by Personnel Services.

(4) All proposals submitted to the Panel must contain the following information:

(a) an explanation of why redundancy is proposed; this may, for example, include evidence showing that the source of funding for a particular activity is due to diminish or cease and that there is no alternative source of funding to support the continuation of that activity;

(b) details of the areas of activity affected and the numbers and descriptions of posts in those areas (“the redundancy pool”), including job title, grade, hours of work, job description, reporting structure, departmental organisational chart; also current source of funding and a copy of any relevant research contract(s);

(c) details of the selection criteria used and selection activities undertaken where it is not proposed that all the staff in the redundancy pool are to be made redundant, including CV and scoring against selection criteria;

(d) information on measures taken to try to avoid compulsory redundancy (eg efforts to seek redeployment and/or to achieve the necessary reductions in staffing through voluntary redundancy), including copies of correspondence, notes of meetings, etc;

(e) an equality impact assessment reporting whether staff groups who share a protected characteristic within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 will be adversely affected and details of any actions that were taken or considered to mitigate these effects;

(f) information on consultation with affected individual(s) and employee representatives, including copies of correspondence, notes of meetings, etc.

(5) Where the proposal is to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less, the Panel will invite the appropriate representatives to participate in consultation about the proposed compulsory redundancies, including consultation about ways of avoiding compulsory redundancies, reducing the numbers of compulsory redundancies, and mitigating the consequences of compulsory redundancies. Such consultation shall be undertaken with a view to reaching agreement with the appropriate representatives. In this regulation “establishment” and “appropriate representatives” shall be construed in accordance with sections 188 and 188A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 as amended or re-enacted from time to time.

(6) The Panel will consider any written or oral representations from individual(s) directly affected by the proposals. Individuals potentially affected under the redundancy proposals shall be informed of the date of the Panel meeting at least two weeks before the Panel meet. They will be invited to submit any representations that they may wish to make to the Panel to a named person, which must be received one week in advance of the Panel meeting. They will also be invited to meet with the Panel, if they wish to do so, and may be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative.

(7) The Head of Department or his or her delegated nominee will provide information to the Panel and will attend the panel meeting to answer any questions in respect of the redundancy proposals.

(8) The Panel will carefully scrutinise each case referred to it and will consider whether:

(a) the proposal is based on objectively verifiable grounds which are covered by the University's definition of redundancy;

(b) the redundancy pool has been appropriately defined;

(c) the selection criteria and selection activities were objectively justifiable and appropriate to the circumstances;

(d) all appropriate options have been pursued to avoid compulsory redundancy, in particular efforts to seek redeployment where this is desired by the affected individual(s), and/or to achieve the necessary reductions in staffing through voluntary redundancy;

(e) there has been appropriate consultation at departmental and/or divisional level with the affected individual(s) and with their representatives, with a view to avoiding compulsory redundancy, reducing the number of compulsory redundancies, and mitigating the consequences of compulsory redundancies;

(f) all relevant requirements under current employment legislation, including the obligation to avoid unlawful discrimination and to inform and consult appropriate representatives where required, have been met.

If, in the opinion of the majority of the Panel, one or more of these conditions are not satisfied, the Panel will return the proposal to the originating division or appropriate authority for further consideration.

(9) Appropriate records of the Panel meeting will be kept.

(10) The Panel will provide a brief report of its considerations and recommendations to the relevant Head of Department and Head of Division. The Panel may authorise the relevant Head of Department to issue a notice of redundancy, which will include a brief summary of the Panel’s considerations in relation to the affected post-holder, their notice period, details of redundancy payments and their opportunity to appeal.

8. After all notices of redundancy have been issued to individuals, and the deadline for any appeals has passed, a notice of the decision reached by the Redundancy Panel shall be placed in the Gazette.

9. Appeals against redundancy dismissal will be heard by the University’s Appeal Panel for academic and academic-related staff.

10. An anonymised summary of the activity of Redundancy Panels shall be provided annually by the Director of HR to the Personnel Committee, and the Committee will publish that report to Congregation.