Redundancy and Reduction of hours Policy

1. Statement of avoidance

Oblong Ltd works within a tight financial programme that is dependant on grants, commissioning and other income.

Within these constraints, Oblong Ltd recognises the importance of job security and will act to prevent redundancy where possible by actively pursuing current and alternative sources of funding and structures for the delivery of the organisation’s business. This will include discussion with current funders and partner organisations.

However, if funding is not secured or the business structures render it necessary the following procedure will take effect.

 

2. Principles governing redundancies

It is the agreed aim of Oblong Ltd and its staff to maintain and enhance the efficiency, quality and viability of the organisation’s work in order to safeguard the current and future employment of employees. Oblong Ltd, in consultation with staff will seek to minimise the effect of redundancies by looking at alternative options.
Where compulsory redundancy is inevitable, Oblong Ltd will handle the redundancy in the most fair, consistent and sympathetic manner possible and minimise, as far as possible, any hardship that may be suffered by the employees concerned.

The overriding aim of Oblong Ltd’s policy in relation to staffing levels and redundancy is, however, the future viability of the organisation.

In many cases, when a situation arises that may require redundancies, it should be resolved by a voluntary rearrangement or reduction of hours by agreement by the whole staff team.
Operational responsibility for handling redundancies will rest with the staff team unless there is no alternative but to involve Trustees or outside agencies.
Any decision made by the staff team regarding a change in role, hours or Job Description should be made with the agreement of the member of staff in question.
In the event of a block by a member of staff, or a lack of consensus, all alternatives will be presented to the Board of Trustees who will make a final decision.

 

3.  Consultation & triggers

3.1. Triggers

This redundancy policy may be triggered by one of a number of situations, the nature of which will involve the staff and trustees to a greater or lesser degree.

  • Approaching end of funding cycle
    Three months before the end of a staff member’s temporary contract where they are wholly or partially funded by a grant that runs out on the same date, staff will make it a priority to discuss whether the staff member should stay in role after that date.
    If the staff team (on advice of the Development Collective) are confident that grant funding will be achieved they may choose to continue to fund the role out of core funds for an agreed length of time for up to four weeks.
    In the event of a variance of funding objectives, the staff team may decide that the future role is sufficiently similar that the current member of staff can stay in post with minor amendment to Job Description & minimal re-training.
    Note: Section 1.2 of the Recruitment and Selection Policy might be helpful in this process.
    In the case of a staff member being partially funded by other assured funding in discussion with the staff team, may voluntarily reduce their hours to those already allocated funds.

  • Fluctuation of hours required to fulfill external contracts
    The staff member(s) responsible for delivery of a particular contract should keep track of the fluctuating time requirements of delivery and administration of said contact.
    If the qualifications required to fulfill the contact are especially specific, it may not be appropriate for other staff members to share out essential responsibilities.
    Staff members responsible for the delivery of contracts should be prepared to reduce (or increase) their working week in line with the current requirements of the contract in question.
    The management of working hours by casual workers contributing to a contract should be dealt with in line with the Contract, Freelance & Casual Employment policy

  • Reorganisation of core responsibilities
    In the event of a significant reduction in restricted funding, a proportional reduction in management hours although not certain is likely, along with a review of core hours commitments.
    Such a reduction of core hours should be shared fairly & transparently in accordance with the needs of the organisation.  Redistribution of core hours between staff should only be done if staff are suitably qualified or in a position to be adequately trained for the role.
    If a significant proportion of a staff member’s hours are reduced as a result of a loss of restricted funding, it may be inappropriate for them to keep any nominal management hours that remain.

  • Significant drop in reserves or projected income
    Financial reports to the board of trustees should include any concerns about the sustainability of paying salaries at current levels.  
    Trustees may ask at that time, or any other, that the staff identify and make savings, including reduction of hours or redundancies.

 

3.2. Consultation

In situations where staffing levels may be cut and redundancy is therefore an option the staff team at the earliest opportunity discuss the situation and make a proposal to the Board of Trustees or review possible courses of action, including alternatives to redundancy.

Consultation among the staff will take place, giving as long a period as possible for alternative ideas to be discussed before any notice of dismissal is given. This period will include an assessment of the organisation’s overall work. Individual staff will also be informed and consulted about changes in staffing levels and arrangements, including any redundancy, which may directly affect them.

The Board of Trustees of Oblong Ltd will disclose, in writing to the appropriate representatives the following information concerning the proposals for redundancies so that the representatives can play a constructive part in the consultation process:  

  • The reasons for the proposals, including financial information about Oblong Ltd to assist the consultation process.

  • The numbers and descriptions of employees it is proposed to dismiss as redundant.

  • The total number of employees of any such description employed by Oblong Ltd.

  • The way in which employees will be selected for redundancy.

  • How the dismissals will be carried out, including the period over which the dismissals are to take effect.

  • The method of calculating the redundancy payments (other than statutory payments) to be made to those who are dismissed.

 

4.     Alternatives to redundancy

Oblong Ltd will consider the following measures as a means to minimise or avoid compulsory redundancy:

  • natural turnover of staff

  • reducing or eliminating any overtime currently being worked

  • termination of the employment of temporary or contract staff

  • restrictions on recruitment

  • retraining and redeployment to other parts of the organisation

  • introduction of short-time working, temporary lay off, reduced hours, or job

    sharing (according the nature of the role, and the way it is funded, in line with ‘3.1 Triggers’ )

  • seeking applicants for early retirement, or voluntary redundancy. All applications for voluntary redundancy will be subject to approval by the Board having regard to the operational needs of the organisation and are not automatically accepted.

  • retirement of those employees already beyond the normal retirement age

 

5.     Procedures governing redundancies

All members of staff, including staff with disabilities, part-time staff and staff who are pregnant or on maternity leave, will be treated fairly when Oblong Ltd is considering redundancy possibilities. The following areas will ultimately determine the posts that will be subject to redundancy notice:

  • the financial position of Oblong Ltd

  • the requirements and obligations to funding bodies

  • the needs of the reduced service.

    Oblong Ltd is committed to a selection procedure that is fair, consistent, objective and non-discriminatory. When selecting employees for redundancy, Oblong Ltd will agree the criteria for selection with the staff through the staff team. Staff in the agreed pool for selection will be scored against some or all of the following criteria; specific criteria may be given increased importance by differences in weighting.

  • the operational needs and future viability of Oblong Ltd

  • the skills and experience of the employee

  • standard of work performance

  • attendance or (unspent) disciplinary record of the employee

  • the potential of the employee to be adaptable should alternative work be offered

  • requests for voluntary redundancy and/or early retirement

  • length of service, where this reflects value to the organisation and is not solely dependent on age difference.
    Note: This does not allow for a policy of ‘last in, first out’.

Staff selected for redundancy will be informed of the decision and given opportunity to appeal.
Following the consultation period, staff will be informed in writing of the decision to dismiss them by reason of redundancy.
Upon appeal, staff may bring a colleague, companion or representative of their choice to the appeal meeting. Following the meeting they will be informed of the outcome in writing.

 

6.    Entitlements

Entitlements given are the statutory minimum.

Staff being made redundant will be given not less than 12 weeks notice. The notice period will commence from the date of the written notice.

Staff being made redundant may leave before the end of their contractual period of notice without loss of redundancy payment, but without payment of salary or notice pay for the remaining notice period. Staff who are not at work because they are sick, on maternity or paternity leave or have been asked not to work their full notice period will still receive contractual notice pay.

Staff being made redundant, once in their contractual notice period, will be given reasonable paid time off (in agreement with other members of staff, in such a way as to minimise disruption to the normal operation of the organisation) to seek alternative employment and attend interviews.

At the discretion of the staff team, staff selected for redundancy may also use the office equipment for job application purposes.

All employees subject to redundancy will qualify for redundancy payments if they have 2 or more years’ continuous service with Oblong Ltd. This includes employees on fixed term contracts who have 2 or more years’ continuous service. Employees with less than 2 years continuous service will not qualify for a redundancy payment.

All statutory entitlements will be paid by Oblong Ltd.

For each complete year of service, up to a maximum of 20 years, employees are entitled to: -

  • for each year of service up to the age of 21: half a week’s pay

  • for each year of service between the age of 22 and 40: one week’s pay

  • for each year of service at and above age 41: one and half weeks’ pay

Depending on age and length of service, employees can receive a maximum of 30 weeks pay.

‘A week’s pay’ will be defined as whatever is lower of the following two values

  • £464 per week pro rata of last years average hours worked

  • average gross pay per week of your last year of work, ending at the date of notice of dismissal

 

7. Relevant Legislation

  • Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
  • Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993
  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002

 

8. Related policies

  • Equality & Diversity Policy
  • Written Statement of Employment Particulars
  • Contract, Freelance & Casual Employment policy
  • Recruitment & Selection Policy

 

9. Further information

  • PERS Helpline: 01924 428033 www.per.org.uk  or admin@pers.org.uk
    PERS Employment Rights leaflet No. 6 Redundancy or  Redundancy Toolkit:
    www.pers.org.uk follow links to ‘Publications’ and ‘Leaflets’ or ‘Toolkits’.
  • The .GOV website has some redundancy information and a redundancy calculator, see www.direct.gov.uk and search for ‘Redundancy’
  • ACAS (www.acas.org.uk) has a number of different leaflets. Use the search engine for ‘Redundancy’ or click the ‘Redundancy and notice’ link on the home page.
  • This policy was based on the Pay and Employment Rights Service (PERS) Redundancy Policy, model policy, dated April 2013.