The coronavirus pandemic has caused us to look at some of our HR policies - or more pertinently, the lack of them. It comes at a time where we have grown as a company, but have not yet put in place all the policies and procedures that a larger organisation might need.
This policy is being put in place now, whilst we’re not facing any imminent need to make redundancies - in a classic “fix the roof whilst the sun is shining” way.
In putting it together, we have considered not just our legal obligations, but how best to go about doing a hard thing, in line with our dxw values.
Policy statement #
We believe that continuity of employment and job security is important for staff wellbeing, and for delivering quality work to our clients. We work hard to keep our sales pipeline healthy. And we plan the future development of dxw carefully so we can hire the right people at the right time.
However, the future is never certain. Significant changes in our plans or in the markets we serve, could mean that we need to make a role redundant. If that happens, we will follow a fair and open process.
This section of the Playbook sets out what we’ll do in those circumstances.
How roles are selected for redundancy #
We will take an open, data-led approach in redundancy situations. We might, for example, find that we need to reduce our unbillable roles to keep profits at a sustainable level. Or that we need less people in a particular specialism if we experience a reduction in demand for that type of work.
If a group of people in very similar roles are involved in the redundancy situation, everyone in the pool will be treated as being at risk and there will be a selection process. We will publish the selection criteria at the time, which may include any or all of the following:
- a performance assessment
- any disciplinary issues having previously arisen
- adaptability to a new role or way of working
- attendance record
The process we’ll follow if we need to make redundancies #
The Directors group is responsible for determining any proposed course of action that involves redundancies. This will be documented, setting out the problem faced, the options considered, proposed solution, and a plan for implementation. To ensure this is a fair and robust process, it will be reviewed and agreed with the Advisory Board/Shareholders, before the following actions are taken:
1. Inform affected employees as soon as their jobs are at risk #
We will organise a face-to-face meeting to tell you if your job is at risk of redundancy. As at the moment we all work remotely, we would organise this by slack/email, with the meeting held over video conference. If in the future we’re back in an office, we’d do this in person. We will follow up that meeting with a formal ‘at risk’ notification.
2. Consult staff affected about proposals for change #
For staff at risk, with more than two years service, there is a formal legal consultation period, where we ask you to think about our proposals for change, and to talk to us if you have any thoughts/ideas about doing things differently.
The length of this consultation period will be no less than a week, but may well be longer, if for example there is a significant change affecting a number of colleagues.
There will be at least one consultation meeting with a Director, and with each person ‘at risk’. More meetings can be arranged if necessary. These meetings will consider any redeployment opportunities, or other possible measures to avoid redundancy. You would have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative.
3. Inform & consult with the wider staff body #
There is no legal obligation to consult with the wider staff body (unless there are more than 20 jobs at risk within a 90 day period), or with at-risk staff with less than two years service.
However, we would want to be more open than this; and in the interests of finding solutions, we would want to draw ideas from the widest group of people possible. So, once the people directly affected have been informed, we will publish a bikeshed, detailing the proposal for change, and asking for feedback.
An exception to this may arise if an individual role is affected, rather than a group, as it may cause more discomfort and anxiety by publishing a bikeshed.
4. Decision on proposal #
Following consultation, final decisions on the proposal will be taken by the Directors. Full consideration will be given to anything arising through the consultation period before a final decision is made on the proposed changes, and the selection criteria to be used if there is a pool of roles affected. Feedback will be given to the member of staff whose role is at risk.
Where selection for redundancy is confirmed, the affected employee will be given written notice of termination in accordance with the terms of their contract. The letter will also confirm the right to appeal the decision.
5. Appeal #
The affected staff members have the right to appeal against the decision to terminate their employment on the grounds of redundancy. The appeal should be made in writing within five working days of receipt of the decision letter, and should be addressed to the Managing Director.
Time off #
Colleagues who have been given notice of redundancy have the right to take reasonable paid time off to seek other work. This could include registering with a recruitment agency or attending interviews. Arrangements should be made with their line manager.
Notice period #
Your notice period is set out in your employment contract. In all cases the contractual notice period meets or exceeds the statutory notice period legally required.
Redundancy pay #
dxw will pay statutory redundancy pay to any employee who meets the eligibility criteria. To be eligible, employees must have been continuously employed for two complete years, this is a legal requirement that we are unable to change. The amount of statutory redundancy pay is based on your age and length of service. Statutory redundancy pay is not subject to tax. Further details here on gov.uk .
Your final salary payment will comprise your normal salary during your notice period, and any unused holiday entitlement accrued up to your leaving date (these are both subject to tax and national insurance in the usual way), together with your statutory redundancy pay.
Last updated: 9 May 2023 (history)