Planning for reduced funding/income in 2016? Sector Matters and NICVA HR on possible alternatives to redundancy

If you are planning for a potential reduction in funding/income, this article might assist you in considering the alternatives to redundancy which is an important stage of the planning and consultative process.

In our previous article we looked at the top five redundancy planning questions to consider now in the changing funding climate. Below we consider some alternatives to redundancy to avoid the necessity to make compulsory redundancies. As part of your planning process, we recommend you think about some of the options below:

1. Redeployment
Redeployment within your organisation may be a useful option to consider. This will depend on factors such as the size of the organisation and the existing skills or need for retraining. Whilst one funding stream may be reducing or ending, you may have funding coming in for a different project. This could present viable alternative employment for existing employees who may be at risk of redundancy, meaning you are using existing skills within the organisation. See:

2. Recruitment freeze/reduction
Many organisations decide to maintain the existing headcount by putting a recruitment freeze in place meaning that leavers and vacant positions might not be filled. This is something to consider if the organisation can reorganise work and operate with the existing skills and staffing levels.

3. Lay off and short time working
Lay off and short time working are intended to respond to a temporary shortage in work to preserve future employment security. There are strict rules around when and how this can be used and full information is available in the LRA guide

4. Agreeing a temporary or permanent reduction in hours
The organisation may seek to agree with employees a temporary or permanent reduction in hours (and pay) which overall may preserve jobs. In seeking to reach agreement on this, employers should follow the LRA's guidance on varying and changing an employee's contract of employment

5. Seek applications for voluntary redundancy or part time working
Certain employees may be willing to accept voluntary redundancy. It is easy to assume that all staff will be opposed to a reduction in staffing levels by way of redundancy, however it may be the right time for someone to choose to leave through voluntary redundancy. The organisation will have to consider if it will approve all or some applications as the organisation will still need to function and vital skills may need to be retained. Similarly it may suit some employees to reduce hours through part time working and this could solve a problem where funding is reduced but not cut.

If you need support with planning redundancies NICVA and Sector Matters can help, please don’t delay:

To receive free telephone advice, call Alex McGimpsey, HR Manager, on 028 9087 7777 or email [email protected]

For hands on support to manage the process from beginning to end or help with specific issues, call Louise Foster, HR Consultant Sector Matters, on 028 9087 5015 or email [email protected]

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