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Restructuring

The purpose of the Restructuring Policy is to provide a framework and set of practical guidelines to managers that lead restructuring in our organisation.

Change happens constantly. Some change is minor and will have little impact. Major organisational change may include departmental re-structuring or the transfer of services within the Authority. Whatever the change, it is likely to challenge ‘routine’ and how you think about our work environment.

Change management matters. Getting it wrong can be costly in a number of ways.

Managers are responsible for following the principles of this policy when leading and implementing a restructuring project.

It is also important that you are aware of the support mechanisms that are in place before, during and after the restructuring process.

Managers

  • Communicate, communicate, and communicate and ensure all employees are fully involved in the change process;
  • Arrange an early planning meeting with a HR Advisor and Accountant especially when it is clear the proposed change may affect employees;
  • Engage with the recognised trade unions at the start of the process;
  • Seek advice from the Corporate Learning & Development team to identify your skills development or  any leadership support to help you manage the change  process;
  • Speak to employees away from your workplace, e.g. sickness, maternity, secondment, and make reasonable adjustments to ensure individuals are not excluded from any part of the restructure process;
  • Check if the proposal needs any ‘political sign off’, e.g. Executive Board;
  • Keep robust records of the process in line with data protection principles;
  • Think about your change leadership style. What’s appropriate may depend on the magnitude of the change.

Employees

  • Consider how the change will affect you and service delivery;
  • Get involved in the consultation process individually and collectively and/or through your trade union representative;
  • Offer constructive feedback and suggestions for alternative options.

Human Resources

  • Ensure all approved restructure documents and guidance are current, relevant and available to all managers and employees;
  • Support managers in developing the restructure proposals including advice on realistic timescales, identifying any risks and the agreed action plan to progress the proposal;
  • Support managers with communication and consultation with the employees affected and their representatives;
  • Ensure the change is actioned on the HR systems to maintain workforce information.

Change can take many forms:

  • Variation of contract as a result of changes in how we deliver services, reduced services, efficiencies or and other needs. Changes to a contract of employment cannot take place without agreement. The HR team can provide advice on how to manage this process and the steps to take when agreement cannot be reached.
  • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of employment) (TUPE). A “TUPE transfer” is a transfer of a business under which the Regulations apply and offer protection to employees.
  • Redundancy, please refer to the redundancy policy and procedure.

When it is clear that changes to service delivery may impact on employees a planning meeting should be arranged to discuss the proposals including the:

  • Project Lead;
  • the Head of Service (if not the Project Lead)
  • Accountant
  • Principal / HR Advisor.

This should take place before any proposal is submitted to the Departmental Management Team (DMT) and Organisational Support Team (OST) for approval to consult on the proposals.

During the planning meeting agreement should be reached on who will complete:

Once approval to consult has given the Project Lead can start the next stage in the process.

The project lead will share the proposal in confidence with the recognised Trade Unions no later than 7 calendar days in advance of the opening consultation meeting so they are aware of the proposals and have a chance to input at an early stage.

The project lead will write/email all employees affected inviting them to a meeting to open the consultation on the proposed changes (Please see Appendix B). A copy of the ‘Proposal Consultation Briefing’ document will be provided at the consultation meeting. A record of the meeting including names of attendees should be kept.

More than one meeting at the same or different locations may be required depending on the numbers of employee’s involved and/or work the location.

The timescale for the consultation period will depend on the level of the restructuring proposal. Employee and trade union consultation will run at the same time. 

Employees will be offered a 121 meeting with a manager to be able discuss any personal issues in confidence or any topic that needs to be considered as the restructure is being implemented.

When the consultation period closes all the responses will be considered and the restructure proposal reviewed, as appropriate. Consultation feedback include a response to the feedback received will be published and circulated to employees and trade unions.

The project lead will review the proposal documents, job profiles etc. after the consultation exercise and update DMT and, OST of any changes, as appropriate.  Where there are no changes this will be confirmed by the project lead and publish the final proposals.

New Posts

Where there are new posts created within the new structure and there are no ‘Confirm in Post’ candidates these positions will be advertised.  The posts will initially be restricted to those employees in the service area being restructured (Appendix I). New posts will normally be released to advert on a tier by tier basis. Selection will be in accordance with the Recruitment & Selection Policy and procedure.

Confirm in Post

‘Confirm in Post’ will apply where there are like posts in the current and new structures, i.e. duties / accountabilities and pay grade ((at least 70% of the post within the new structure) and not normally more than one grade higher or lower than an employee’s existing pay grade). The essential criteria in the person specification must be fully met or within a reasonable period of training and support normally not exceeding 12 weeks.

Employees will be contacted by letter that they are required to complete an ‘Assessment of Compatibility’ pro-forma for their assessment.  (Appendices C and D)

‘Confirm in Post’ can only be applied when the above conditions are met and there are sufficient posts for qualifying candidates.

Managers responsible for completing the ‘Assessment of Compatibility’ must ensure decisions are based on facts and objective reasons that can be justified and evidenced.

HR must be provided with the decisions and all relevant documents before Managers advise employees whether or not they will be ‘Confirmed in Post’. There may be times where there are similar posts and qualifying candidates (as detailed above) but not enough posts. This needs to be taken into account at the planning stage. 

In this situation, selection criteria must be applied to decide who will be appointed into the posts available. Selection can be a desktop exercise against an agreed matrix or a selection interview. Managers should seek advice from a HR Advisor. (Please refer to the Redundancy Selection guidance, Appendix E or Appendix G).

At Risk

If an employee has not been confirmed in post and is unsuccessful in obtaining any of the new posts available within the new structure, they will normally be declared ‘at risk’ of redundancy. At this point they will be placed onto the Redeployment Register. (Please see the Redeployment Policy and Procedure).

The Authority will adopt a reasonable approach to reduce the ‘risk’ for employees. It is important that the Project Lead to flags up that this may happen at the planning stage so any practical measures to reduce the impact can be built into the restructuring process, e.g. future recruitment planning, temporary posts, and voluntary early retirement /redundancy exercises.

If an employee believes s/he has been wrongly allocated to a post or unfairly excluded from the assessment for a particular post in the new structure, s/he can ask for a review of the decision. This should be made in writing explaining the reasons within 7 calendar days of being notified of the post the employee was or was not assessed for.

The Departmental Director (or a nominated officer, but not the officer leading or sponsoring the project) will conduct the review, supported by an HR Advisor. The review will consider if all the relevant information was considered in making the decision and if the process was correct.

If an employee is a requesting a process review on the basis that they have been selected for redundancy please refer to the Redundancy Policy and procedure. The outcome of this review is final.

If an employee is offered a post on a lower grade or less favourable terms and conditions reducing the total pay package, a 12 week period of adjustment will apply to support the employee. No pay increments linked with the previous post will be awarded during the 12 week period of adjustment. Pay increments come into effect when transferred over to the new post.

The new rate of pay and terms and conditions of employment start from the end of the 12 week period of adjustment or when the total pay for the new post reaches or exceeds the total pay for the previous role, whichever is sooner.

Where employees hold a fixed term or temporary contract they can be considered for new posts in the new structure and may be considered for ‘Confirm in Post’ (Please refer to the Temporary and Fixed Term Contracts Guidance).

However, a temporary employee covering a substantive employee, e.g. secondment or maternity leave, cannot put the substantive employee out of place.

Employees who have been seconded into a post within the service area being restructured can be considered for new posts and may be considered for ‘Confirm in Post’.

However, a temporary employee covering a substantive employee, e.g. secondment or maternity leave, cannot put the substantive employee out of place.

Employees on secondment outside the service area being restructured will be considered during the restructure process in line with depending on the substantive post they hold within the service area.

Employees ‘Confirmed in Post’ whose place of work is re-located because of the restructure process, will be reimbursed excess mileage. Please contact the HR team for advice.

This policy must be applied consistently to all employees irrespective of race, colour, ethnic or national origins (including citizenship), language, disability, religion, belief or non belief, age, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, parental or marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity.

If you have any equality and diversity concerns in relation to the application of this policy and procedure, please contact a member of the HR Team who will, if necessary, ensure the policy/procedure is reviewed accordingly.

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Page updated: 05/03/2020 14:52:29