Human Resources

3.0  Guidance

3.1    Definition of Redundancy

This policy is to be used for redundancy situations, defined in s. 139 (i) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 as a dismissal attributable wholly or mainly to:

  • The fact that  the College has ceased, or intends to cease, to carry on the business for the purposes of which the individual was employed by the College, or has ceased, or intends to cease, to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed; or
  • The fact that the requirements of that business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where they were so employed, have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.
  • The College may also choose to use this policy or part of it for other situations, such as restructures, that may fall outside the statutory definition of redundancy.

If the proposed possible redundancies are likely to be strategic or large scale, then the case will be considered by Governors in the first instance. For example, where the scale and scope of the proposed redundancies involves the closure of a whole School or Department, rather than specific posts within it. 

3.2    Notice of Redundancy

The College will attempt to give staff as much notice as is reasonably practicable, but the minimum periods of notice will be as per the individual’s contract of employment, and subject to statutory consultation requirements. The College may ask the employee to work their notice period, remain away from the workplace or may exercise its right to make a payment in lieu of notice for all or part of the notice period.

3.3    Selection

In any redundancy situation, it is important to consider who should be placed at risk of redundancy and included in the redundancy pool.  A redundancy pool may consist of one person. This will be the case where the type of work that a specific member of staff undertakes reduces and the type of work undertaken is different to others. Where it is needed to reduce the number of staff doing the same or similar work, a redundancy pool will be assembled and managers will develop relevant selection criteria.

3.4   Bumping

When determining whether selection pools are required, or the scope of any selection pool, the College is required to consider whether the redundancy should involve bumping. Bumping occurs when an employee, whose own job is not at risk of redundancy, is dismissed and their job is filled by an employee whose role is at risk of redundancy. The reason for dismissal will still constitute a redundancy.  Managers should seek advice from HR on this issue.

3.5    Re-employment

In general, former members of staff would not normally be expected to be re-employed in the short to medium term (usually within 2 terms). However, changes may occur that are unforeseen for example, in the case of the acquisition of a new grant or funding stream. Prior to any discussions or offers to former members of staff, HR must be consulted for advice about potential re-employment. Where there is a risk to the College or abuse of this policy and procedure, the College will investigate and take appropriate action. A potential outcome may be that this becomes a disciplinary matter for existing staff and the College may decide to recoup a proportion of the non-statutory enhanced redundancy payment.


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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX