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Redundancy and reorganisation: one-to-one meeting checklist

When to use this checklist

This checklist provides advice if you have been invited to a one-to-one meeting where your employer is proposing:

  • service reconfiguration

  • redundancies

  • transfers as part of a consultation exercise and you will not be accompanied by a trade union representative.

There is no automatic right for accompaniment/representation at one-to-one meetings related to redundancy or reorganisation, unless your employer's policy allows this. If we cannot attend with you, consider taking a colleague as a witness and for support.  If you are asked to attend a group meeting try to attend and take notes of what is discussed. 

1. Obtain copies of:

  • the consultation proposals
  • your organisational change policy - this may give you more rights than the legal minimum
  • your employer's pay protection policy
  • your employer's mileage policy
  • your employer's equality and diversity policy and any equality impact assessments in terms of the proposals
  • copies of the current and proposed organisation chart
  • the employer’s selection criteria and scoring/systems for any voluntary or compulsory redundancies.

2. Find out from your employer:

  • whether a voluntary redundancy scheme has been promoted in your organisation
  • are any voluntary redundancies offers as beneficial as compulsory redundancy offers and if not, why not?
  • about any proposed job description that may be relevant to you.

3. Think about the wider impact of the proposed changes, for example:

  • What are the aims of the consultation exercise?
  • Will this impact on patient safety and care?
  • Are there any health and safety issues for staff and/or patients?
  • Have the proposals been assessed for clinical risks?
  • Has there been an equality impact assessment to assess the likely/actual effects of service redesign/restructure in respect of disability, gender and racial equality?

4. Prepare a list of questions and issues applicable to you:

These might include any carer responsibilities, flexible working arrangements, restrictions on distance you are able to travel, and occupational health requirements or adjustments. Consider asking the following questions:

  • Has your employer given a clear clinical rationale for any proposed changes?
  • Specifically what policy or policies are being applied?
  • Has your employer undertaken a risk assessment to ensure the new arrangements are safe?
  • Were any alternatives considered?
  • What timescales apply to you personally?
  • What band or grade are the new/remaining posts and are job descriptions available? If not, when?
  • Have any new posts been through a proper job evaluation process?
  • How will allocation of posts work?
  • Have any selection criteria been agreed and evaluated for equality purposes?
  • How will any selection process work, e.g. interview or otherwise?
  • What ‘suitable alternative employment’ is available and how will any suitable role be identified and communicated to you?
  • Will my employer change (if a transfer) so it is no longer considered an NHS employer - how does this affect my terms and NHS pension?
  • What are the options for redeployment and  how will this work?
  • If redeployed, is there pay protection and for how long?
  • If redeployed, will any agreed or existing flexible working arrangements (or reasonable adjustment) remain in place and if not, why not? 
  • If redeployed, what are the trial period arrangements?
  • If redeployed, what support is there e.g. for training or to obtain qualifications/skills required for the new role. 
  • If redeployed, will the new role affect any special class status or MHO status? 
  • Is there any option to completely retrain? How will this be funded?  
  • Is it possible to reduce or increase working hours?
  • Are there any posts or opportunities available outside of the directorate/department?
  • Is voluntary redundancy available?
  • Are compulsory redundancies likely and if so, how many?
  • Are there any redundancy options or retirement options linked to redundancy if someone is over their minimum pension age (for example, using your redundancy to take an unreduced pension)? You may wish to seek independent financial advice before deciding to take any pension benefits early.
  • What support is available for CV writing, interview guidance and time off to look for work, attend interviews or training?

Your employer might ask you to complete a staff profile questionnaire. This is an indication of your preferences, qualifications, willingness to commute or redeployment and other transferable skills. 

5. Your employer should:

  • Explain the reasons for the changes.
  • Explain the purpose of the meeting and outline the process, feedback methods and how further information will be made available.
  • Explain your status, how the proposals could potentially affect your current role and what options are available to you including voluntary redundancy or retirement, if applicable.
  • Explain what alternatives were considered and whether you can suggest anything that might avoid job losses or re-banding etc.
  • Confirm whether this reorganisation is being treated as a potential redundancy situation or not.
  • Confirm any transfer date and effect on your terms and pension.   
  • Explain what policies are being applied. 
  • Explain how many jobs are at risk.  
  • Explain how any pool for selection has been determined and why you are in it.
  • Explain any selection criteria, who has agreed it and how, when and by whom will it be applied.
  • Explain your right to challenge or comment on the criteria and/or your score as part of the consultation process.
  • Inform you when the consultation ends and the proposed date of anticipated changes or transfer dates.
  • Identify support available, for example, career planning, CV support, interview skills training, occupational health, counselling, pension advice and independent financial advice, as appropriate to the circumstances.
  • In a redundancy situation, explain your rights to paid time off to seek alternative employment. 
  • Encourage you to seek advice and ask questions at any time during consultation exercise.
  • Outline suitable communication methods, including the nominated contact person to answer any queries you may have as and when they arise.
  • Explain what role the RCN will have. 

6. As an employee you should:

  • Ask your employer to clarify the aim and objectives of the consultation exercise. What are the boundaries between consultation and negotiation? What areas can you influence through feedback?
  • Check if notes are taken and available after the meeting?
  • Can the agreed next steps/timescales be confirmed in writing? Who do you contact for further questions and updates?
  • Work through your pre-prepared questions.
  • Discuss your preferences. For example, whether you want to stay in the same or a similar post, or consider redundancy, whether you wish to be redeployed, and what suitable alternative roles are available.
  • Confirm that your views or preferences at this stage are non-binding and that you are exploring the options, for example, a request for a redundancy quotation.
  • Not be pressured into making any final decisions; request an adjournment and reschedule the meeting if you are feeling pressured.
  • Before agreeing to any rescheduled meeting time and date contact the RCN regional/country office to confirm officer or stewards’ availability.

If you feel you have been unfairly treated, for example on the grounds of maternity or disability, please contact us as soon as possible. Please also see our information on discrimination.

If your employer asks to speak 'without prejudice' or to have a 'protected conversation' and proceeds to set out the terms of an offer to leave, typically, a severance payment with a settlement agreement, we recommend you do not accept this without seeking RCN advice first. We also recommend you respond by saying you need to take advice and consider the proposal. An employer should not pressure you to sign anything there and then.  

You should receive a written document outlining what was discussed at the meeting - please check this for accuracy and raise any inaccuracies to your employer in writing.

If you don't agree with something in a letter or meeting notes, say so in writing as there is a risk that you could be taken to have accepted what was documented by the employer that would be difficult to challenge later, if necessary. 

Obtain confirmation in writing of any offers or clarification of points you are unclear about. Request a further meeting if your concerns are not addressed satisfactorily.

Ensure all commitments made during the meeting are adhered to and timeframes are complied with – keep a record of times, dates and any correspondence.

Contact your RCN regional/country office and update them on your position or further offers/proposals before agreeing further meeting dates and times.

If you are offered redeployment, please see our redundancy and reorganisation guide for more information.

In most cases when we speak about re-banding we refer to situations where the pay band of an employee is reduced. The exercise is often described by employers as a ‘skill mix review’ although it is most likely to be a review of ‘tasks’ rather than ‘skills’.

During consultation and any service reconfiguration clinical risk assessments and a clear rationale for the proposed changes resulting from any skill mix reviews should be undertaken. A proper job evaluation process should have been conducted to determine the new banding. If re-banding is offered, consider these questions:

  • How will this change be managed and how will this re-banding exercise affect me in day-to-day terms?
  • If my pay band is reduced, what elements of my current role and responsibilities will I no longer undertake? Are these reflected in the revised job description?
  • If elements of my role are reduced, is anyone else going to cover these tasks?
  • Are there any roles in the exercise that will have a higher pay band attached to them?
  • Is there a career progression path for me in the new structure?
  • How will the quality of the service provision be maintained with a different skill mix?
  • How will the management and supervision of staff be affected and/or maintained?
  • Can I have a copy of the job description and the job evaluation outcomes of the proposed role?
  • What pay protection arrangements are in place (including protection of working pattern, hours, location)?
  • If I am to undertake a different role or work in a different setting, what training and development is available?
  • How will any change be incorporated into my contract of employment?

If you work in the NHS and your employer discusses 'MARS', read the NHS ‘Mutually Agreed Resignation’ (MARS) arrangements as outlined in Agenda for Change (AfC) terms and conditions handbook, section 20, and your local MARS policy. It is a big decision to agree to a severance scheme. It is important to contact us before making any decisions or responding to your employer.

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Page last updated - 08/12/2023