Guidance for Staff “At Risk”

Why am I “At Risk”?
What is Individual Consultation?
What is Collective Consultation?
How will the University minimise the risk of redundancy?
What is Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE)?
What is Redeployment?
Will I be eligible for University Redeployment opportunities?
What will I need to do?
Your role in Redeployment
Interviews
Trial Periods
Training and Support in my new position
What will happen if I am unable to find other employment at the end of the redeployment period?
Redundancy Payment
Leaving Employment
Internal Support

The University is committed to avoiding the risk of redundancy and will provide support and guidance to those staff, whose position is placed “at risk”, to find alternative work.

The University recognises that it can be an unsettling time for staff if their position is placed “at risk”. This guidance is provided to those staff who find themselves “at risk”, either through organisational change or restructuring or through the expiry of their fixed term contract, to move forward positively to seek other opportunities.

Why am I “At Risk”?

The term “At Risk” means that due to an organisational change or a restructure within your department or faculty, your current position, is “at risk” of redundancy. Your position has been defined as “at risk” as it does not match the proposed new structure, following organisational change or restructuring.

You may also be “at risk” if your position has a fixed end date, and you are at least 3 months from the expiry of your fixed term contract.

What is Individual Consultation?

Individual consultation is a meeting between the staff member at risk and their manager, where the manager will provide the staff member with general information, and answer queries about the potential redundancy. This may include:

  • the reasons for the potential redundancy;
  • how the selection process works (organisational change or restructuring only);
  • what the University will do to avoid making redundancies;
  • an explanation of the process for Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE) and redeployment (if eligible);
  • details of the conditions of redundancy payments (if eligible);
  • the support available to the staff member.

At these meetings your manager will also provide you with the opportunity to suggest any ways you feel the University may be able to avoid redundancies. Any suggestions you make will be considered by your manager and will not prejudice the outcome of the consultation. Your manager will also give you the opportunity to raise any objections in relation to the potential redundancy.

What is Collective Consultation?

Where staffing levels or terms and conditions might be affected, the University has a duty to collectively consult with the affected group of staff on matters such as: ways of avoiding the dismissals, reducing the number of employees to be dismissed, and mitigating the effects of dismissals. This consultation will take place between representatives from University management and Human Resources and the recognised campus Trade Unions and this will normally begin at least 90 days prior to the expected date of the redundancies.

Where there is a restructure within a department or faculty, which might lead to redundancies, your manager(s) may also meet with you and your colleagues collectively (as well as individually) to talk to you about how you might be affected by the proposals, and to answer questions. Representatives from the campus Trade Unions recognised by the University for collective bargaining might also attend these meetings to support staff.

At this meeting you will be able to discuss the proposed changes and the implications the changes may have on your terms and conditions. You will also be given the opportunity to feedback on the changes, to enable your views to be considered before the changes are implemented.

How will the University minimise the risk of redundancy?

To minimise the risk of compulsory redundancy, your manager, on behalf of the University, will consider actions such as:

  • reducing overtime;
  • reducing use of agency staff;
  • limit/freeze external recruitment;
  • considering applications from staff to reduce their hours.

What is practical will depend upon the circumstances, and the nature of the redundancy situation. Your manager will also consider you for any Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE) in your department or faculty, where this is available, and will explore all available options with you, such as other redeployment opportunities, to minimise the need for compulsory redundancy.

What is Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE)?

Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE) is a position which is offered to a member of staff which is comparable to the terms and conditions of their existing post.

The suitability of the offered position would depend upon:

  • the similarity of the work to your current job;
  • your skills, abilities and personal circumstances;
  • the pay and benefits of the job;
  • hours and location of the job.

See Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE) FAQs available via right-hand link.

What is Redeployment?

Redeployment is the appointment of a member of staff at risk of redundancy, to a position which may be different in terms and conditions to the current post.

The suitability of redeployment to an alternative position would depend upon:

  • The nature of the work;
  • Qualifications, skills and experience required to carry out the work;
  • Aptitude and capability of the individual to undertake the work;
  • Working arrangements i.e. hours of work, shift arrangements etc;
  • Level of responsibility relative to the previous role;
  • Grade and pay;
  • Location.

There will be two ways in which you could be considered for redeployment; firstly within your own department or faculty, and secondly by submitting a tailored job application via the internal job by clicking on myJob and apply for jobs.

See Redeployment Opportunities FAQs available via right-hand link.

Will I be eligible for University Redeployment opportunities?

Redeployment is available to all University staff with 6 months or more continuous service.

All staff members who are placed at risk, due to organisational change or restructuring, will be eligible for redeployment if they have 6 months or more continuous service at the point of redundancy, and if other ways to avoid compulsory redundancy have so far not been successful.

All staff members who are placed at risk, due to the expiry of a fixed term contract, will be eligible for redeployment if they have 6 months or more continuous service at the date their current fixed term contract expires.

In both cases, you will receive an email from Human Resources at this point with details of what you will need to do next.

See Redeployment Opportunities FAQs available via right-hand link.

What will I need to do?

Although this may be an unsettling time, it is important to move forward positively by fully engaging with the process of seeking other job opportunities.

Your role in Redeployment

To make sure that you have the best opportunity possible to be redeployed into another position within the University, it is important that you ensure that your application form (accessed by via myJob)adequately describes the following:

  • your skills, knowledge and experience;
  • any transferable skills you have;
  • any specific areas of expertise or interest you have;
  • your level of responsibility;
  • any relevant training you have undertaken;
  • your ambitions/aspirations;
  • if appropriate, any personal circumstances relevant to undertaking a new position.

Whilst on redeployment, it is important to seek alternative employment outside of the University, as well as within the University (via www.shef.ac.uk/jobs).

See Redeployment Opportunities FAQs available via right-hand link.

Interviews

It is important to prepare for all interviews. Reasonable time off will be provided to you to enable you to attend interviews with other prospective employers (both internal or external to the University).

Top Tips: Interviews

Preparing for interviews

  • Think about what qualities the interview panel will be looking for;
  • Practice talking about your skills, knowledge and experiences;
  • Ask a friend/colleague to help you practice your interview technique;
  • Find out what you can about your prospective department or employer, if external to University;
  • Think about any relevant questions you may like to ask the interview panel.

At the Interview

  • Be punctual;
  • Be polite;
  • Listen;
  • If you are unsure about any questions, ask for clarification.

After the Interview

  • If you are unsuccessful at the interview, it is important to request feedback and use the feedback to improve for next time

Trial Periods

If you are offered an alternative position, through Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE) or redeployment, you may be asked to complete a trial period, usually for up to 4 weeks, to assess the suitability of the position, by both the department and yourself.

Your appointment to your new position will be subject to the completion of this trial period, details of which will be included within your new appointment/change of appointment letter, sent to you from Human Resources.

At the start of your trial period, it is important to work with your new manager to set relevant and reasonable aims and objectives for the period of your trial. These aims and objectives will help determine whether the trial period has been successful for both your manager and yourself.

Upon completion of your trial period, you and your line manager will decide whether the trial has been successful.

If the trial period is successful, your appointment will continue based upon the terms and conditions set out in your new appointment/change of appointment letter.

If the trial period is unsuccessful, your manager will discuss the reasons with you and will explore the options now available to you.

See Trial Periods FAQs available via right-hand link.

Training and Support in my new position

When you begin your new position, your line manager will work with you to develop a personal development plan, which will help to identify any training or support you may need for the transition into your new position. Your manager will also work with you to set aims and objectives, similar to those made during SRDS.

See Personal Development Plan Template (PDP) available via right-hand link.

What will happen if I am unable to find other employment at the end of the redeployment period?

Your manager and Human Resources will work with you throughout your period on redeployment to try to help you find alternative employment. However, if this has not been possible, your contract of employment will be terminated on the grounds of redundancy.

You will normally have been served notice of the termination of your employment at the same time as you were registered in the redeployment pool, therefore your contract of employment will end at the expiry of the 3 month period in the redeployment pool.

Redundancy Payment

If you have two or more year’s continuous service with the University, you may be entitled to a redundancy payment. Human Resources will write to you with the details of the redundancy payment which is available to you.

Any redundancy payment will be paid to you by the normal payment method you receive your monthly salary. You will normally receive any redundancy payment as soon as practicable following the date at which your employment is terminated.

Please note that any redundancy payment will be paid into your normal bank account, supplied for the payment of your salary. If you wish for your redundancy payment to be deposited into an alternative account, please amend your myJob record accordingly, in advance of the expiry of your contract.

For further information in relation to the University's Redundancy Payment Scheme, please see: www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/guidance/change/policy/rps

Leaving Employment

Any outstanding annual leave entitlement that you are unable to use prior to leaving the University, will be included in the final salary payment.

After leaving the University you will receive your P45 form by post, which will be sent to your home address with your final payslip. As it is not possible to issue duplicate copies of your P45 form, it is important to ensure that Human Resources has an up to date record of your address and contact details before leaving the University (assessed via myJob).

Internal Support

Your line manager on an informal basis.

Your faculty HR Adviser: www.shef.ac.uk/hr/aboutus/whoweare/ops

Staff Counselling:

  • Email: staffcounselling@sheffield.ac.uk
  • Tel: 0114 222 4133

Careers Service: www.shef.ac.uk/careers/index

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Campus Trade Union: