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Redundancy, redeployment & retrenchment procedures for PASS staff

Redundancy, redeployment & retrenchment procedures for PASS staff

Preamble | General principles | The authority to disestablish a post | Process for disestablishing an occupied post |
Process for disestablishing one or more similar posts | Decision to disestablish an occupied post |
Consultation on disestablishing an occupied post | Giving notice to incumbent | Severance pay |
Annexure A: The redeployment list and the redeployment process

This is the procedural agreement between the University of Cape Town and the UCT Employees Union and NEHAWU on the retrenchment of permanent administrative and support staff in payclasses 1 to 12.

  1. Preamble
    1. The procedures outlined in this policy are designed to deal with the Employee Relations implications of the dismissing of one or more employees based on the University's operational requirements. The University is committed to not terminate the services of its employees without good reason, and accepts that staff need security of employment. The University, however, also recognises that its operational and financial needs may, from time to time, require a reduction in expenditure, which cannot be achieved without a reduction in staffing levels. Wherever possible, the University intends achieving this without embarking on a retrenchment or redundancy exercise, through the process of redeploying affected employees. In the event of the University being unable to redeploy an employee, the University undertakes to retrench the employee, in line with provisions of this policy and Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, as amended from time to time.
    2. These procedures distinguish between:
      1. the process for disestablishing an occupied post
      2. the process for redeploying a staff member
      3. the process for retrenching the incumbent of a disestablished post, if there is no alternative
  2. General principles
    1. The University is committed to retaining the services of, and offering ongoing opportunities to existing staff members in ways that are consistent with achieving the University's Employment Equity goals. This policy aims to minimise retrenchment by ensuring a fair redundancy process and offering redeployment as an alternative to involuntary retrenchment where positions are identified as surplus to requirements.
    2. The University will, where the employee whose continued employment may be affected by the University contemplating restructuring a PASS Department, inform the Union of the impending retrenchments, and in the event that the Union is the chosen representative, involve them in all consultations with the employee(s).
    3. The University will notify and consult recognised Unions/representatives of employees, whenever the nature of the employee's position changes, and the changes effected may likely result in the post becoming redundant.
    4. The University and the representatives of the affected employees shall enter into consultation through a process of joint consensus-seeking, with a view to reach consensus on appropriate measures aimed at:
      1. avoiding the retrenchment;
      2. minimising the number of retrenchments;
      3. mitigating the adverse effects of the retrenchments; and
      4. agreeing on method of selecting the employee to be dismissed.
  3. The authority to disestablish a post

    (This paragraph is included in the procedure for completeness but does not form part of the agreement, and management may change authorities.)

    1. The authority to disestablish a post, whether it is an occupied or vacant, is the Dean in the case of all posts in a faculty, or the Head of Department in the case of support departments. Where the Chair of the Employee Relations Management Committee (ERMC) is the authority for the disestablishment of an occupied post in his/her department, the authority to disestablish shifts to the ERMC.
    2. Any proposal to disestablish an occupied post must be supported by the relevant manager referred to in sub item 3a above, prior to the proposal being referred to the Chair of the ERMC.
    3. Authority to disestablish an occupied post rests with the Chair of the ERMC, after the process of consultation, as outlined in clause 4 below, has been followed.
  4. Process for disestablishing an occupied post
    1. When a line manager contemplates making a request to his/her Head of Department for the disestablishment of an occupied post, he/she shall first consult employees (and their representative/s) who may be affected by way of changes to their position descriptions and conditions of service.
    2. The line manager must thereafter make an initial proposal, on operational grounds to the relevant Head of Department. If the Head of Department refuses the proposal, the matter ends there.
    3. If the relevant Head of Department agrees that sound operational reasons exists for the disestablishment of the occupied post, the line manager shall commence the process of consultation as outlined in clause 7 below.
  5. Process for disestablishing one or more similar posts
    1. When the Chair of the ERMC is required to disestablish one or more of a number of similar posts, that process to be followed will involve consultation with all staff and their chosen representatives on the selection criteria to be used in determining whom to retrench in the absence of alternatives being found.
    2. The process must include the following steps:
      1. The HR Representative shall notify all the incumbents of the group holding similar posts, and their chosen representatives, in writing, of the number of posts to be disestablished, and the number remaining.
      2. The line management, in consultation with the HR Representative shall set out line management's proposals on the method and criteria for the selection of staff to be retained, redeployed or retrenched, based on the agreed criteria with their representatives. Should there be no agreement on the criteria to be used, the University will nonetheless apply criteria it considers to be fair.
      3. Among a list of inexhaustive criteria the consulting parties may use, are the following:
        • Operational requirements;
        • Experience relative to the current position;
        • Qualifications;
        • Skills and training;
        • Length of service;
        • Employment Equity needs and objectives of department;
        • Work performance.
      4. The University shall give the incumbents and their representatives at least two (2) weeks to make representations on alternatives to the proposal.
      5. Line management, advised by the HR representative, shall consider all such representations, and may amend the original proposal, if so warranted. A copy of the final proposal to the incumbents and their representatives on the outcome of their representations made, giving clear reasons for accepting and/or rejecting any of these representations, shall be made at least one (1) week before the Chair of the ERMC considers the selection criteria, as agreed upon by the consulting parties.
      6. Having had regard for the process of consultation had by the consulting parties, the Chair of the ERMC may approve or reject the proposal, having appraised him/herself fully with the rationale for such, supplying reasons for his/her approving or rejecting same.
  6. Decision to disestablish an occupied post
    1. Once consultation has been concluded, whether or not consensus has been reached, the Head of Department will make a formal proposal to the Chair of ERMC for the disestablishment of the occupied post, the proposal must be copied immediately to the affected employee and his/her chosen representative.
    2. Upon receipt of the proposal, the Chair of the ERMC may either:
      1. Refuse permission;
      2. Refer the proposal back for further motivation; or
      3. Ask a representative from the Human Resources Department (HR Representative) together with relevant line management to have further consultation with the incumbent and his/her chosen representative.
    3. In the event of the Chair of the ERMC opting for 6b iii above , then the HR Representative and line management shall formally meet with and brief the incumbent and his/her representative on the proposal, including reasons for the proposed change, and shall give the incumbent and his/her representative at least three (3) weeks to make representations on the proposal.
  7. Consultation on disestablishing an occupied post
    1. When the University contemplates disestablishing one or more occupied posts for reasons based on the University's operational requirements, and this disestablishment may lead to possible retrenchment of an employee, line management, advised by an HR Representative shall consult:
      1. any person whom the employer is required to consult in terms of a collective agreement;
      2. any registered trade union whose members are likely to be affected by the proposed retrenchment;
      3. if the affected employee is not a member of a trade union, any representative nominated for that purpose, provided that this representative is a member of the University's staff.
    2. The University, via the relevant line management, and with the assistance of an HR Representative shall issue a written notice inviting the affected employee and his/her chosen representative to consult with it and disclose in writing all relevant information, including but not limited to:
      1. the reasons for the proposed disestablishment and possible retrenchment;
      2. the alternatives the University considered before proposing the disestablishment, and the reasons for rejecting each of those alternatives;
      3. the number of employees likely to be affected and the payclasses in which they are employed;
    3. The Chair of the ERMC will consider and respond to the representations made by the incumbent and his/her chosen representative, if the University disagrees with them, the University will state the reasons for disagreeing or rejecting them.
  8. Giving notice to incumbent
    1. The Chair of the ERMC shall give notice to the affected incumbent and his/her chosen representative, in writing, of the decision to disestablish the post, and further notify him/her that he/she have to put on three (3) months' notice that he/she would be retrenched if the University fails to redeploy him/her within this period. Staff will have an option of staying on the redeployment list for a further three (3) months after involuntary retrenchment has been effected, and in this period (unpaid) the University shall endeavour to continue seeking alternative redeployment opportunities.
    2. The notice shall include any alternatives to dismissal already considered by the management and reasons for rejecting such alternatives.
    3. The HR Representative shall notify the incumbents of the severance pay and estimated retirement fund benefit that would be paid out in the event of retrenchment.
    4. The HR Representative shall immediately place the incumbent's name on the redeployment list. Details of how redeployment will be facilitated and the outcome thereof are contained in Annexure A hereto.
    5. The HR Representative shall at all times make the incumbent and his/her chosen representative aware of vacancies that arise or may arise.
    6. If no redeployment or other alternative is achieved prior to the expiry of the notice period, the appointment will terminate and severance pay will be paid out.
    7. The notice to retrench may be withdrawn if an alternative post is found in the first half of the notice period. However, after this period, the incumbent will have the option of any alternative post offered or the retrenchment package.
  9. Severance pay

    This provision covers severance pay in the event of retrenchment.

    1. Severance pay will be paid in a lump sum payment. Staff will have the following options:
      1. 5% of annual remuneration package (COE) x years of service, up to a maximum of one year's remuneration.

        OR

      2. 4% of annual remuneration package (COE) x years of service + long leave due, up to a maximum of one year's remuneration.

        OR

      3. 1 week's remuneration package for each year of service (no ceiling).
    2. Definition
      • "Remuneration Package" includes the salary budget, the medical aid budget, the UCTRF budget, HOD allowances, and the cash value of any payment in kind that forms part of the staff member's standard remuneration. It excludes:
        1. Gratuities
        2. Allowances paid for the purposes of enabling an employee to work (e.g.traveling allowances)
        3. Any discretionary payments not directly related to the employee's hours of work or performance.
      • "Years of continuous service" will be taken as years, rounded to one decimal place (i.e. the definition in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act).
    3. In addition, the following will be due:
      1. payment from the relevant pension or retirement fund;
      2. pro rata service bonus (where applicable);
      3. pay in lieu of annual leave owing.
    4. Staff are required to work their notice period, but will be granted reasonable time-off from duty to seek alternative employment.
    5. Should staff wish to attend courses offered by UCT's Information and Communication Technology Services Department and the Staff Learning Programme (offered by Human Resources Development), they will be able to so on condition that they pay the staff rate for the course, and that no current staff member will be prejudiced i.e. Availability of space in a course. This will be valid for 12 months from the date of termination of service.
    6. Staff and dependants, who were studying at UCT prior to the termination of the staff member's contract, will continue to pay the staff tuition rate for up to 3 years or until the current course/degree has been completed, whichever is the shorter period.
    7. Staff will receive R1000 as a contribution towards costs incurred for financial and other forms of advice and counseling. This may however be utilised at the staff member's discretion.

Annexure A

The redeployment list and the redeployment process

  1. An incumbent on the redeployment list is defined as a "likely" candidate for a vacant post if the vacant post is in the same payclass as the incumbent, or is one or two payclasses above and/or below the payclass of the incumbent. In the event that a staff member in the redeployment list is redeployed to a post at the same level, above or below the current level, a new contract reflecting the existing reality will be entered into between the individual and the University.
  2. Before advertising a post, the Human Resources Department, will invite the Head of Department seeking to fill a vacancy to consider and, where appropriate, interview suitably qualified candidates on the redeployment list. Regard shall be had for the potential of the candidate to be trained within a reasonable period of time to fully fulfill the requirements of the position.
  3. It remains the decision of the Heads of Department to appoint or not to appoint a "likely" candidate on the redeployment list to a vacant post. If a "likely" candidate is considered by the Head of Department not to be suitable, and is not appointed, the onus is on the Head of Department to give written reasons to the Chair of the ERMC. Copies of such reasons shall be served on the "likely" candidate and the Union/representative.
  4. Staff on the redeployment list who are interviewed will be given the option of completing a post interview questionnaire. (Annexure B - not on the web but available from the employee relations section of the Human Resources Department and the Union.)
  5. In line with the policy of giving preference to the staff on the redeployment list, vacant posts for which there are "likely" candidates on the redeployment list shall not be advertised, internally or externally until the Employee Relations Office has established that no candidate on the redeployment list is suitable.

Policy updated on 09 March 2005

Page last updated: 28 June 2012