Stage 5: Compulsory redundancy dismissal process

If, at the end of the  three month advance warning period, it has not been possible to avoid the need for redundancies and achieve the necessary staff reductions by voluntary means or through redeployment, the compulsory dismissal process must be followed.

In all cases the process for dismissal on grounds of redundancy must include:

At the end of this process, the formal notice of dismissal (A8 Dismissal notice (24kb) ) may only be issued after appropriate authorisation.

Each dismissal notice must include provision for an appeal.

Stage 5a: Authorisation procedure

There are separate procedures for authorising redundancy in different staff groups:

Academic and academic-related staff

Dismissals should be in accordance with Statute XII, Part B and in accordance with Council Regulations 2 of 2017. Normal expiries of fixed-term contracts are not included here. There is a separate procedure for the termination of fixed-term contracts at their scheduled end date.

Advising the Director of Human Resources

A Divisional Board, or an equivalent University authority, should refer the proposal for compulsory redundancy to the Director of Human Resources, through the HR Business Partner. The Director of Human Resources will advise the UCU joint secretary of the compulsory redundancy proposal and arrange for the Registrar to seek the approval of Congregation for the appointing of a Redundancy Panel (except in cases involving the proposed termination of an open-ended externally funded contract).

Seeking authorisation from Congregation

The appointment of a Redundancy Panel requires a prior decision of Congregation, except in those instances which involve employees on open-ended contracts, where the need for redundancy arises through the withdrawal of external funding, save where the Redundancy Panel forms majority view to seek approval from Congregation (s14.(4)).

Council shall put a resolution to Congregation seeking approval for the formation of a Redundancy Panel under Part B, Section 10. Congregation shall be told the type of post, grade and division to give an indication of the nature and scope of the redundancies under consideration, suitably anonymised.

Please refer to Statute XII Part B and the relevant regulations for further detail on the compulsory redundancy process.

Support staff

In all cases the advice of the HR Business Partner should be taken before the compulsory dismissal process is started.

Stage 5b: Fair selection of staff for redundancy

In cases where the number of staff to be dismissed is smaller than the number of staff in the potential redundancy pool, there must be a selection process to determine which employees will be dismissed.

Where is is not proposed that all the staff in the redundancy pool are to be made redundant, the decision making body must be given details of the selection criteria used and selection activities undertaken including CV and scoring against selection criteria.

Selection will involve choosing between employees who carry out the same or similar duties.  Departments must, therefore, give careful thought to the criteria that will allow a choice to be made.

These criteria should generally be objective and appropriate and applied fairly and transparently.  What constitutes appropriate criteria will vary according to local circumstance and advice must be sought from HR Business Partners at an early stage.  Employees and the appropriate trade union(s) should be notified of the criteria and given the opportunity to comment, in order to ensure that any special circumstances that apply to employees at risk of redundancy are taken into account in the selection process.

Some commonly used selection criteria include:

  • skills or experience
  • standard of work performance or aptitude for work
  • attendance (excluding family leave related, or absence due to a disability) or disciplinary record

but whatever criteria are used, it is essential that employees can be marked against them in an accurate, consistent and objective way.

The criteria, or the application of them, should not discriminate because of

  • protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 (which include: disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation); or
  • trade union membership or activities, or assertion of a statutory right; or
  • unjustifiably singling out one type of worker against another, for example unjustifiably selecting a full-time worker over a part-timer or a permanent contract employee over someone on a fixed-term contract.

Stage 5c: Impact assessment

An equality impact assessment reporting whether staff groups who share a protected characteristic will be adversely affected and details of any actions that were taken or considered to mitigate these effects should be completed.

Stage 5d: Notice period

Employees who are dismissed on grounds of redundancy are entitled to receive their contractual or statutory notice period, whichever is the longer.  This notice period should be given in the notice of dismissal.

The notice period may vary according to length of service and type of employment from a minimum of one week up to three months or more.  For further information see Notice.

Although it would normally be expected that an employee dismissed for redundancy would work their notice period, it may be appropriate in some circumstances for an employee to leave before the expiry of their notice period.  Departments should seek the advice of the HR Business Partner.

Stage 5e: Redundancy payment

Employees are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if they have worked continuously for the University for at least two years and their post is being made redundant.

This applies to those on fixed-term (whether terminated prematurely or at their expected date) as well as open-ended externally-funded or permanent contracts.

Employees may, however, not be entitled to a redundancy payment if they:

  • have found, or been successfully redeployed, to another post within the University;
  • have been offered and refused suitable alternative work without good reason;or
  • leave employment before the end of the notice period (by resigning) in order to take up alternative work outside the University, without having given proper notice.
  • HR Business Partners should be consulted on specific cases.

Whenever a redundancy payment is made, the employee must be given a written statement showing how the payment has been calculated.

Statutory Redundancy Pay (SRP) is payable at a rate that is set by Government and is calculated by reference to weekly pay, age and length of continuous employment.

  • the weekly pay rate is capped by Government and adjusted regularly.
  • all calculations should therefore be made by using the ready reckoner supplied by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

An employee does not have to make a claim to redundancy pay in order to be entitled to it. The department should arrange payment by notifying the Payroll section. The employing department must therefore complete the following steps to action payment:

  • complete a Payroll Leaver Form noting the reason for leaving as “X02 Compulsory redundancy (including expiry of fixed term contracts)”
  • send the Leaver Form to the Payroll Manager/Deputy Payroll Manager together with a memo including the amount of redundancy payment due (as calculated by the ready reckoner) and the cost centre from which the payment should be made.
  • do not send a separate payment request to Payments, as the redundancy payments will normally be made with the final pay or in the next available pay period after notification as a bank transfer payment.

In cases where an employee is accepted for voluntary redundancy, enhanced terms may apply. Departments should discuss this with HR Business Partners.  Further information can be found on Voluntary redundancy.

Employees who, on leaving University employment, receive statutory redundancy payment should not be re-employed by the University in any capacity for a period of at least four complete calendar weeks (a calendar week being judged to start on a Sunday) after the leaving date.

Employees who leave the University on enhanced, voluntary severance terms should not be re-employed in any capacity for a period of time, normally at least three months, after the leaving date, the period to be determined by the University at the time of severance. For further information contact your HR Business Partner.

Stage 5f: Premature ending of open-ended contracts

For academic-related staff on an open-ended, externally funded contract, where the need for redundancy arises through the withdrawal of external funding, the arrangements for a Redundancy Panel must be followed, without a resolution to Congregation, save where it forms majority view to seek approval from Congregation (s14.(4)), as provided for in Statute XII, Part B, Section 13.

The Registrar will select a Redundancy Panel (as in Section 5a) to consider proposals to terminate open-ended, externally funded contracts on grounds of redundancy.

The Redundancy Panel will only consider formal proposals forwarded by Divisional Boards or other appropriate authorities.

If a Redundancy Panel appointed to consider a particular redundancy proposal forms a majority view that for any reason it would be inappropriate to proceed without the approval of Congregation, the Panel should advise Council to that effect and await such approval before proceeding further.

It is the Redundancy Panel’s responsibility to consider the case for redundancy, to confirm that the procedures in 5a and 5b above have been followed to select the staff who are to be dismissed from the at-risk pool.

Anyone who believes that they have a matter which should be referred to the Redundancy Panel should:

  • seek advice from HR Business Partners
  • consult the full document which sets out the detailed arrangements governing the Redundancy Panel. 

Stage 5g: Summary of the activity of the Redundancy Panel

The Director of Human Resources shall provide the Personnel Committee with an annual summary of the activity of the Redundancy Panel, in relation to academic and academic-related staff, and the Committee will publish that summary to Congregation