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Conducting Redundancy Consultation Meetings for the Expiry of Fixed Term Contracts

  1. Why have the meeting?
  2. How you should arrange the meeting
  3. The meeting
  4. After the meeting

Why have the meeting?

Legally, the University has to offer a meeting to any employee who is on a fixed term contract which is about to expire.  This situation constitutes a potential dismissal by reason of redundancy and therefore the individual is classed as being at risk of redundancy.

How you should arrange the meeting

You should arrange the meeting within 6 weeks of receiving the email from Human Resources informing you of the individual’s expiry of contract.  The individual should be given reasonable notice of the meeting. 

The individual has the right to be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or work colleague.  Ideally, you should ask them in advance if they are bringing anyone with them, if they come alone then you should ask them if they are happy to be there on their own, if not then you should reconvene the meeting to a time when a representative can attend with them.

If you invite the individual to the meeting and they do not wish to attend, ensure you have this confirmed in writing.

If you would like someone from HR to attend the meeting, please email humres@st-andrews.ac.uk.

The meeting

At the meeting, you should discuss why the contract is coming to an end, this could be because a research project is complete or funding is coming to an end and no more funding is available.  If there is a possibility that more funding could be secured, every effort should be made to try and secure this funding.

The individual should have an opportunity to respond to the situation and put forward ideas/concerns.  If the individual has valid and reasonable ideas on how to extend the post, then these should be explored fully.

Alternative Employment (Redeployment)

This is an important area to be considered when someone is potentially to be made redundant and must be looked at in detail.

An individual who holds a visa under the points based system must contact Human Resources if they are interested in redeployment as they may not be eligible to be considered for redeployment to certain jobs due to United Kingdom Border Agency regulations.

It would be impossible for you to know about all vacancies and potential vacancies within the University, however, you will be expected to find out if there are going to be any suitable vacancies within your own School/Unit.  You should inform the individual at the meeting to regularly check what vacancies are available on the University’s website at www.st-andrews.ac.uk/employment.

If you or the individual identifies a post that may be suitable, you should contact Human Resources immediately, ideally before the post is advertised. 

The individual can take up further redundancy consultation (as outlined in the letter that they receive subsequent to this meeting) by contacting Human Resources.  Consultation can include help with CV preparation, skills analysis, advice on job search etc.  They can also contact Salaries to find out what, if any, statutory redundancy pay they are entitled to.  The individual will not be entitled to statutory redundancy pay unless they have at least 2 years service.

Right of Appeal

The individual should be informed that they have the right to appeal if they feel they have been treated unfairly.  If you know at the time of the meeting that the individual’s contract will not be extended, they can lodge an appeal once they have confirmation of your decision in writing.  Appeals should be made in writing to the Director of Human Resources within 5 working days of receipt of your decision stating the grounds of their appeal.  If you cannot confirm at this stage whether or not the post will be extended, then the right of appeal should be delayed until you have communicated the final decision to them in writing.

After the Meeting

After the meeting has taken place, you are required to send the template letter to the individual (see attached) detailing the outcome of the meeting.  You should delete the parts of the letter that are not appropriate to the situation.  If it is an unusual situation and you are unsure of what to write, please contact Human Resources.  It is very important that the individual is informed in writing of the outcome of the meeting, firstly because it is a legal requirement and secondly, it tells them of their right to appeal which is a legal right that they have.

A copy of the letter should be forwarded to Human Resources as soon as possible and should keep any notes of the meeting in case they need to be referred to at a later date.

Please note that if you plan to extend an individual who requires a visa, Human Resources will require at least 3 months notice to ensure that the appropriate approval from the UKVI is obtained.  Less notice may affect the individual’s ability to continue working.

Human Resources
January 2011