Category: People Pulse
People Pulse – when do you need to pool?
When you have more employees than the roles available, you may need to ‘pool’ those employees carrying out the at-risk roles to fairly decide who remains at risk. It’s usually the case that you’ll want to restrict the pool as much as possible. Here are our thoughts:
Be clear on the roles at risk – identifying which roles need to be pooled isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Do you have different job titles for the same roles? Have job titles and job descriptions failed to keep up with the roles individuals are actually doing? This all needs to be considered.
Identify the individuals carrying out the roles at risk – do a number of individuals interchange between different roles as they have a wide skill set? In which case would it be reasonable to include all such individuals within the pool.
Consider individuals at other sites doing the same at-risk roles – where individuals move around sites and all do the role that is at risk, consider whether each of those individuals needs to be pooled.
Bumping – if you haven’t heard of ‘bumping’ you’ll need to learn fast! Bumping occurs where an at-risk employee is retained in favour of an employee who isn’t at risk (usually as they have better skills for the retained role). While there is no obligation to bump, you need to consider whether it’s appropriate to do so and make a note of your thought process.
Consult – if you have more employees than the number of roles at risk you’ll need to consult on whether you should pool (as in this case). A fair redundancy process includes giving individuals the right to challenge the pool before scoring at-risk individuals.
If you need advice or support with ‘pooling’ employees, Intelligent Employment is here to help – find out more!
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (24 November 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
People Pulse – would you lend your employees money?
It’s a complex question but it’s one that’s been coming up more and more often over recent months. We’ve shared the positive steps you can take to support employees’ financial well-being in our ‘10 minutes with: The Money and Pensions Service‘.
But what do you need to consider when an employee asks for a loan and advance?
Agreed principles – you’ll need to debate at a senior level what support you’re willing to offer. Is it a blanket ‘no’, the offer of a single loan or a more flexible approach – they all have their challenges and opportunities.
Who to ask – you’ll want consistency in your approach to loans. Ideally, one or two individuals should understand your loan policy and be able to implement it.
How to request – ideally you’d have an online form that the employee completes explaining the amount they want to borrow, how soon they’ll be able to repay the amount and the reason for the loan. You also want to know by when they need the money.
Refusing requests – if you’re not able to offer financial support, do you have measures in place to ensure the employee doesn’t spiral downwards due to the financial pressure they’re under?
We’re adding a loan policy to our Intelligent Employment platform to help you explain steps employees must take to request a loan, any limitations, repayment arrangements and more. Find out how to access Intelligent Employment.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (17 November 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
People Pulse – should you be asking for volunteers?
Voluntary redundancy is a route recognised by tribunals as a way of lawfully avoiding compulsory job losses. Here’s what you need to know.
The opportunity to volunteer can be offered at any point – usually though, you would offer voluntary redundancy at the beginning of a process as those who volunteer will not need to be taken through the remaining process saving time and cost.
Why would an employee volunteer – avoiding the redundancy process is one incentive to volunteering, but usually you’ll need to offer a little more than that if employees are going to offer to leave. Whether it’s a lump-sum tax-free payment, payment in lieu of notice, or holiday pay rather than forcing individuals to take holiday during notice, you generally have the flexibility to offer a package that’s right for the business, but also tempting for employees.
Unfair dismissal – don’t forget that even if employees volunteer for redundancy, in law they’re classed as “dismissed” and so are still able to claim unfair dismissal. You, therefore, need to think carefully about how you frame the offer of voluntary redundancy. Be clear that you’re not prejudging the situation and ensure that your offer of voluntary redundancy doesn’t in any way discriminate against anyone with a protected characteristic.
Setting a deadline – usually a good idea! One of the big incentives for you to offer voluntary redundancy is that you’re unlikely to have to continue with the redundancy process for those volunteering. If however, you’re still going to have to go through the process then the longer their decision takes, the less benefit there is to you offering voluntary redundancy.
Pooling employees – if you’re doing so because you have more employees than roles available, think carefully before you offer voluntary redundancy (particularly if the voluntary redundancy offer comes before the scoring process). If individuals volunteer who you’d have preferred to keep, turning down their offer may show that you have prejudged the process and is likely to taint the rest of the discussions making successful unfair dismissal claims likely.
If you need advice or guidance on managing a redundancy process – Intelligent Employment is here to help. Find out how.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (10 November 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
People Pulse – consultation communication
Consultation is key to a fair redundancy process. But there’s more to consultation than the legal process – communication throughout is key to reducing disruption and keeping your best people.
Here are our top five tips for starting a fair and transparent redundancy process.
Cut out the rumours – prior to the first announcement, carefully plan the message that you want to land with every one of your employees (or at least those who will hear about the redundancies) in respect of the changes that you’re proposing. Start the communication process by ensuring that everyone is given the same message about the reasons for the proposed changes, those potentially affected and the next steps.
Straight-talking, clear messaging is key – rehearse your key reasons for the possible changes carefully. Be clear that the outcome is not predetermined and this is the start of a process designed to avoid redundancies. Be clear on the support available, when updates will be provided and how the end of the process will be communicated.
Choose a communication method which works for your employees – whether it’s a video making the announcement about the start of a redundancy process, messaging from managers to their team or an online meeting, be sure to choose communication tools that work for your employees.
Shout out support – everyone deals with change differently. Whether an employee is at risk or just unsettled, shout out the routes to support that you can offer. Whether it’s an EAP helpline, financial support, or offers of counselling, be sure to remind employees regularly of the support available.
Keep on top of frequently asked questions – there’s a huge amount of information your employees will need to digest in the early stage of redundancy consultations. You’ll have many questions raised about the process, the payments, the alternatives and the fairness. Be ready to deliver the answers to those questions at the right time, in the right way and consider whether an up-to-date frequently asked questions page on your intranet is a good way to deal with questions asked by many.
If you need advice or guidance on managing a consultation process – Intelligent Employment is here to help. Find out how.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (24 October 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
People Pulse – reasons for reshaping
When reshaping your business you need to be clear about why you’re making changes to employees’ jobs. Legally, you don’t need to prove the changes are going to achieve your commercial objectives (although a coherent strategy helps!). That said, here are a few things to consider:
Focus on business needs – consider business priorities. Are annual plans on track, is there reducing demand or increasing costs, are certain roles no longer affordable? A tribunal will spend time understanding the commercial circumstances you face when checking your reasons for change are genuine (and not an opportunity to quickly dismiss poor-performing employees).
Record the facts – it’s useful to record the facts you’re presented with at the time you make changes so you can show the context for the decisions. Think basic spreadsheets, year-on-year figures, changing business expenses or overheads etc.
Outsourcing and TUPE – if you’re outsourcing work you currently do you’ll need to take advice on whether you’re creating a TUPE transfer. If outsourcing creates a TUPE transfer you’ll need to take extra care as employees subject to TUPE transfers have enhanced employment law protection.
If you need advice or guidance on reshaping your business – Intelligent Employment is here to help. Find out how.