As part of a redundancy process, organisations are required to take reasonable steps to redeploy any at risk employees to 'suitable alternative employment'. There is no obligation to create new vacancies.
At risk employees should be considered for vacancies in preference to external candidates or other employees who are not at risk.
In some cases, it will be clear that the at risk employee is suitable for a vacancy. If they are the only suitable at risk candidate the role can be offered without any formal assessment.
In other cases, a selection or assessment process may be required. This recruitment process must be a fair one.
Whether an alternative role is ‘suitable alternative employment’ depends upon a number of factors, including:
- working environment
- hours of work
- terms and conditions
- nature and content of the role.
Redeployment may involve rebanding. In most cases when we speak about rebanding we refer to situations where the pay band of an employee is reduced. In some cases it can be that posts are ‘rebanded’ upwards, however this is quite rare. 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 there should be clinical risk assessments and a clear rationale for the proposed changes resulting from any skill mix reviews.
The Job Evaluation Handbook (2013) outlines the banding review process and good practice in relation to review requests in the NHS. In the event that groups of staff or an individual is dissatisfied with the result of matching, they may request a rematch by a panel with the majority of its members different from the previous panel. You should also check any local policies for more detail.
If you are likely to be rebanded, please read our ‘Redundancy and reorganisation: one-to-one meeting checklist'.