This checklist provides advice if you have been invited to a one-to-one meeting where your employer is proposing:
or 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. If we cannot attend with you, consider taking a colleague as a witness and for support. You may also be asked to attend group meetings - try to attend these and take notes of what is discussed.
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
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, If so, has the timing of this been agreed within the usual collective bargaining machinery?
are any voluntary redundancies offers as beneficial as compulsory redundancy offers and if not, why not?
for 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?
How 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 the employer given a clear clinical rationale for any proposed changes?
Has the employer undertaken a risk assessment to ensure the new arrangements are safe?
What timescales apply to you personally?
What band or grade are the new/remaining posts and are job descriptions available?
How will allocation of posts and ‘slotting in’ work?
What ‘suitable alternative employment’ is available?
What are the options for redeployment and retraining, how will this work?
If redeployed, is there pay protection and for how long?
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 making a decision to taking any pension benefits early.
What support is available for CV writing, interview guidance and time off to attend interviews?
Your employer might ask you to complete a staff profile proforma. This is an indication of your preferences, qualifications, willingness to commute or redeployment and other transferable skills.
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.
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.
Encourage you to seek advice and ask questions at any time during consultation exercise.
Assure you the meeting is ‘without prejudice’ i.e. your views and preferences are not binding.
Outline suitable communication methods, including the nominated contact person.
6. You (the employee) should:
Ask your employer to clarify the aim and objectives of the consultation exercise. What are the boundaries between consultation and negotiation? In other words what areas can you influence through feedback? Are notes 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 (without prejudice) 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 the 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.
You should receive a written copy outlining what was discussed at the meeting - please check this for accuracy.
Obtain confirmation in writing of any offers or clarification of points you are unclear about. Request a further meeting if your concerns have not been 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., You can also call us for advice on 0345 772 6100.
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.