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Redundancy Policy

Contents
  1. Aim
  2. Compensation
  3. Arrangements for redundancy
  4. Equality Impact Assessment
  5. Approval
  6. Effective date of implementation
1 Aim

1.1 The School is committed to ensuring the continuing employment of all permanent employees wherever possible. To support this commitment, the School has adopted a Management of Reorganisation and Change Policy .The aims of that policy are to recognise the respective interests of the School and staff and to confirm consultation
arrangements and support to individuals during periods of change.

1.2 There may be circumstances, however, when the School is not able to ensure continued employment. The School’s Redundancy Policy sets out below the compensation arrangements for employees whose employment is terminated due to redundancy.

1.3 The Redundancy Policy would apply as a last resort where there is no alternative but to terminate employment through redundancy.

1.4 However, before redundancy stage is reached, the School reserves the right to use targeted SOAS voluntary severance schemes as particular business needs arise for specific areas of operational efficiency.

1.5 Voluntary severance schemes would be for a limited period of time and might offer different incentives on an ex gratia basis to take account of different areas of School business.

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2 Compensation

2.1 As confirmed above, the School will seek to avoid redundancies wherever possible. But in circumstances where redundancies are unavoidable, the School will make redundancy payments to individuals leaving the School on the grounds of statutory redundancy, who have at least two years continuous service with the School.

These redundancy payments are in line with the statutory requirements set out in
the Employment Rights Act 1996.

2.2 The redundancy payment will be calculated according to the following formula.
For each complete year of service up to a maximum of 20 years, employees are entitled to:

ServicePayment for each year of completed and continuous service
For each complete year of service up to age 22Half a week’s pay*
For each year of service at age 22 but under age 41One week’s pay*
For each year of service at age 41 or overOne and a half weeks’ pay*

 *A week’s pay is that which the employee is entitled to under his/her contract of employment subject to a maximum statutory limit of £350 (from 1 February 2009)

2.3 A “ready-reckoner” for calculating these payments is attached as Appendix 1 to this policy.

2.4 In addition to a statutory redundancy payment, the School will make the following ex gratia compensation payments and other arrangements for affected staff:

a) A grant of up to £1,000 plus VAT to individuals to cover the costs of attending career or outplacement advice or re-training which the School could arrange. Or the purchase of computer or other future employment-related equipment. The grant will be paid on submission of invoices where appropriate.

b) Reasonable time off with pay to facilitate seeking future employment, including attending job interviews.

c) Repayment of training expenses will be waived in the event of redundancy.

d) Repayment of relocation expenses will be waived in the event of redundancy.

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3 Arrangements for redundancy

 

3.1 Statutory consultation

3.1.1 Where there is a risk of redundancies, the School will follow the consultation arrangements with the recognised trade unions in line with its Management of Reorganisation and Change Policy. Wherever possible, the School will aim to improve upon statutory consultation arrangements.

3.1.2 When undertaking consultation on re-organisation or other circumstances that may lead to redundancies, the School will comply with the statutory time limits for commencing consultation*. In these cases, consultation with “affected staff” should begin at the earliest opportunity and the appropriate statutory consultations will be observed as set out below:

Between 20 and 99 redundancy dismissals proposed within a 90 day period
Consultation at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes place


Over 100 redundancy dismissals within a 90 day period
Consultation at least 90 days before the first dismissal takes place

* Statutory redundancy consultation and notification provisions are contained in Part IV of the
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 together with new duties under the
Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004

Although there is no statutory consultation period where circumstances may lead
to redundancies of less than 20 employees, the School will, in these cases,
consult the trade unions at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes place.

3.1.3 These periods of consultation will commence from the time the School recognised trade unions have been provided in writing with the following information:

  • Reasons for the proposed redundancies
  • Numbers and descriptions of employees occupying posts at risk
  • Criteria for selecting employees for redundancy
  • Timescale for dismissals
  •  Method of calculating redundancy payments to affected staff

 

3.1.4 “Affected staff” includes not only those who may be dismissed, but also any employee affected by the proposed dismissals or who may be affected by measures taken in connection with those dismissals.

3.1.5 If the School proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees within a period of 90 days or less the School will notify the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, in writing, of the proposal before giving notice of termination and at least 30 days before the first of the dismissals takes effect.

3.1.6 In all cases other than where there is no statutory duty to consult collectively about dismissals, the School will follow a statutory dismissal procedure when proposing to dismiss an employee. This includes dismissal on grounds of redundancy.

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3.2 Employee and trade union consultation

3.2.1 The purpose of statutory consultation is to ensure that employees and their representatives are consulted on the potential changes before detailed proposals are developed. Management will consult employees and their representatives on proposed new structures and reasons for them, ways of avoiding or reducing the number of dismissals, and ways of mitigating the consequences of dismissals. As mentioned at 3.1.1 above, the School will aim to ensure sufficient time for a meaningful consultation with affected staff in advance of the appropriate statutory consultation periods.

3.2.2 Aside from the statutory requirements, the School recognises that employees may have positive ideas to contribute to the development of the proposals. Consideration will be given to any proposals put forward by employees and the trade unions. These could include alternative ideas for the proposed new structures, ideas for implementing change, and ideas for mitigating the impact on individuals.

3.2.3 In addition to consultation on proposals, the School recognises that employees will require clarification on specific details of any proposals, as well as information and advice on the impact of these proposals on them.

3.2.4 The relevant manager will be responsible for arranging team and, where appropriate, individual consultation meetings, and for issuing regular updates throughout the consultation process with the staff affected and the trade unions.
Where restructures impact on individual staff roles, the relevant manager should hold individual meetings with these staff.

3.12 Trade union representatives will be allowed reasonable paid time off to consider the proposals and to meet with the affected staff. Similarly, employees should be allowed reasonable paid time off to attend meetings with their trade union representatives.

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3.3 Pension issues

3.3.1 The School will not make any payments in respect of pension enhancements (for example, added years or additional regular contributions) to individuals leaving the School due to redundancy.

3.3.2 Detailed information regarding the impact of redundancy on either the USS or SAUL pension schemes can be obtained from the Payroll and Pensions team.

3.3.3 Where the School incurs additional pension costs in relation to an individual’s redundancy then the School will reduce the amount of the redundancy payment by a sum equivalent to the additional pension costs, subject to the individual still receiving a statutory redundancy payment based on either their actual week’s pay or the statutory maximum rate for a week’s pay (currently £350) whichever is the lower.

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3.4 Tax liabilities

3.4.1 Under current HM Revenue and Customs rules the total of payments in lieu of entitlement to contractual notice, and redundancy payments of up to £30,000 do not attract liability for Income Tax or National Insurance contributions.
However, tax is payable on any amount over and above this limit. This advice is valid as at 23 September 2009.

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3.5 Notice periods

3.5.1 Individuals leaving the School due to redundancy will receive pay in lieu of notice where it is not practicable or appropriate for the employee to work their notice.

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3.6 Annual leave

3.6.1 Individuals leaving the School due to redundancy will receive payment for outstanding annual leave where it is not practicable or appropriate for the employee to take their leave.

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3.7 Fixed term contracts

3.7.1 A dismissal will occur where a fixed term contract expires and is not renewed. In these cases, and subject to a continuous service period of two years, a redundancy payment may be due.

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4 Equality Impact Assessment

4.1 An equality impact assessment covering the Redundancy Policy would be conducted as and when redundancies are proposed.

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5. Approval

Copies of this policy were given to the School recognised trade unions, UCU and UNISON, on 1 April 2009.

This policy has been formally approved by the SOAS Executive Board.

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6. Effective date of implementation

This policy came into effect on 1 April 2009.

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SOAS
Human Resources Directorate
April 2009
(Updated 23 September 2009)