Generating Efficiencies: Maintaining Effectiveness Recruitment Freezes Pay Restraint Outsourcing Restructuring & Redundancy Relocation of Staff Shared Services Cessation/reduction of services Cutting agency/ contract Staff Agile Working
Flexible/Agile Working Top of the agenda Government Consultation on Modern Workplaces Olympics CIPD Report May 2012– 96% of employers offer flexible working (most commonly part-time and home working)
Working Beyond Walls (Flexible Working In Government) Report Work is “something we do not somewhere we go” (Sir Gus O’Donnell) CAVE - Computer Animated Virtual Environment Sound like the Jetsons at work!? Sound expensive!? But by 2020 home working will be a natural way of working for most people.
The “Conventional” Approach Overly burdensome/a necessary evil Legalese-implications of refusing flexible working requests Direct/indirect sex discrimination complaints Breach of Flexible Working Regulations Constructive dismissal complaints
Public Sector – Additional Considerations Necessity is the mother of invention Flexible working is being embraced by the public sector as a potential driver of efficiency rather than a blocker.
Types of flexible working Part-time working Compressed hours Annualised hours Job share Term time working Home working
Benefits of flexible working Reduced overhead costs Increased productivity Reduced absence Wider skill pool/retention Reduced impact of external interruptions
Drawbacks Reduced control/visibility Support/mentoring difficulties Over reliance on technology – business risk? Over-blurring of the lines between home and work – increased stress? Disconnection/socialisation
Making the arrangements work effectively – the tricky bit! Contractual considerations Data protection/information security Arrangements on termination Health and safety BYOD – not to be confused with BYOB… Avoiding discrimination/less favourable treatment allegations
Contractual considerations Hours of work - establish the boundaries Absence - holidays and illness reporting Place of work - flexibility works both ways Salary and benefits - avoid less favourable treatment Expenses - specify who is responsible for what Right to enter - employer may need access Discipline and grievance
Data Protection & Information Security Requirement to take appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised processing, accidental loss or damage to personal data. Processing includes obtaining, recording, or holding information or carrying out any set of instructions on it – very wide. Definition of personal data also wide. ICO has the power to impose fines of up to £500,000 per incident.
Some cautionary tales Unencrypted laptops Hounslow Council – fined £70,000 Ealing Council – fined £80,000 Inadequate IT security on website Andrew Crossley/ACS Law – fined £1,000 Theft of sensitive papers in a pub Croydon Council – fined £100,000 Sensitive papers dropped in the street Lancashire Constabulary – fined £70,000 Theft of memory stick from employee’s home Greater Manchester Police – fined £150,000
Effective Data Protection Measures Specific training Conduct risk assessment in line with ICO’s Statutory Guidance Specify who accesses computer and personal data stored on it Home Security – is employee’s home left unattended for regular periods? Use of passwords and encryption – sharing forbidden/instructed to change regularly? Storage and security of paper files Transporting information between home and office Rules on retention and disposal of information
Obligations on termination/confidentiality The implied duty is more difficult to police where employees work from home. Insert a specific confidentiality clause in a home worker’s contract clearly set out what information is confidential and how it requires to be secured. importance of the right to enter and obligation to return information on termination of employment.
Health & Safety considerations Employer’s basic obligation – take care of employees’ welfare and health and safety “so far as is reasonably practicable” In the context of home working consider – Stress – work/life boundary and isolation/socialisation issues. Equipment – suitable, maintained and inspected regularly Electricity at work – Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 – who knew? First Aid – responsibility to supply appropriate provisions Accidents – establish proper procedure for reporting of accidents
Use of equipment Home workers and peripatetic workers increasingly allowed to use own equipment It even has its own term (BYOD) and its own ACAS Code of Practice Making BYOD work effectively- Security Ensure right of access either physically or remotely to wipe data (restrict liability for loss of personal information). If contributing to cost, require repayment if employee leaves Clear misuse policies and instructions all the more important
Flexible working will not be effective if it leads to discrimination/ less favourable treatment allegations Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 Unlawful to treat part-timers less favourably unless this can be objectively justified Pro-rata principle will generally be applied unless this can be shown to be inappropriate Sex discrimination - less favourable treatment of flexible workers will often amount to indirect sex discrimination Audit levels of pay and benefits, access to training and promotion and employment opportunities for flexible workers as compared to office based workers
What’s in a name? Unilever – “agile working” Siemens – “location independents” Plantronics – “smarter working” O 2 – “desk huggers” or “desk hoppers” Competition time…..
Redundancy Redundancies still on the agenda for 2012/2013 Public sector tradition of VS and VER Increase in compulsory redundancy in public sector VS schemes have not achieved required efficiencies Those prepared to leave on VS have already left Labour market tight – reluctance to volunteer Public sector line managers less equipped to address “survivor syndrome”? Levels of morale low due to relentless cuts.
Generating Efficiency: Sustaining Effectiveness 2 key issues (1) Legal process Identifying redundancy situation Selection criteria; identifying appropriate pools Alternative employment/trial periods Consultation Importance of getting it right – financial and reputational risk (2) Employee engagement challenge
Legal Process – Some Hot Spot Issues Employees on maternity leave Consultation Special protection Sickness absence/disability Volunteers Discrimination and grievances Fixed term contracts Secondees
Maternity leave - consultation Basic rule - don’t forget about employees on maternity leave! Communicate with employees on maternity leave and consult if possible Let them know about suitable alternative vacancies Pregnant employees (not on maternity leave at the time when the redundancy dismissal takes effect) should be treated the same as any other employee
Maternity Leave – Special Protection Regulation 10 MPL Regs. – right to be offered suitable alternative. Controversial – appears to create preferential right for those on maternity leave Applies to those on leave at the time of redundancy Two scenarios: diminished headcount – maternity leaver is not ‘protected’ in selection role re-design – maternity leaver has preferential right to alternatives that are created in the new structure.
Sickness Absence/Disability Basic rule - don’t forget about those who are absent for medical reasons Disabled employees – no right to a vacancy but reasonable adjustments must be considered to ensure that competition for vacancies is on a level playing field. additional designated support adjustment of the selection process required? Employee absent during process due to ill health – obtain medical input
Discrimination and Grievances Outstanding unconnected grievance Grievance can be dealt with or parked until after the redundancy process has concluded - weigh the risk New complaint not connected to the process Complaints about historic bullying etc. by people not involved in the process can be dealt with separately or parked until the process has completed - acknowledge complaint and communicate proposals to deal with it Complaint about the process/scoring Complaints about the process itself need careful handling and may have to be connected to the consultation/appeal process
Fixed Term Contracts Termination of fixed term contracts and collective consultation Is termination due to redundancy or for a reason relating to the individual employee? Non-renewal of fixed term contract is a dismissal Do fixed term employees need to be included in the selection pool? If the job was going to finish anyway, regardless of wider job reductions, fixed term employees need not be included in the pool If the contract is not being renewed because of a wider job reduction programme, they should be included in the pool
Secondees Consider at outset what the ‘status’ of the seconded role is:- are they now more or less permanent? is it clear that they will be returning to their original base? If they are more or less permanent in their seconded role, they may be able to be considered within the seconded area If original role still exists, is this alternative employment?
Addressing Morale/Survivor Syndrome Effective management of redundancy more than a legal issue Redundancy = change = emotional response Tools to address the emotional response Communication Empowerment Management influence Tools can be used in legal consultation to improve morale throughout the process and beyond
Consultation Remember legal obligations Collective - currently 20 – 99 in a 90 day period = 30 day consultation period Greater than 100 = 90 day consultation period Individual Consult on Reasons for proposal; timescales, pools, selection criteria, basis for selection, redundancy package, alternative roles, support available… How do you make it “fair”? Formative stage Adequate info: adequate time Conscientious consideration of employee’s/reps’ response
Personal Reaction to Change/Trauma ACCEPTANCE TESTING DEPRESSION BARGAINING ANGER FEAR DENIALSHOCK
Stage of consultationEmotional responseSome management responses Announcement/initial meetings Shock/denialCommunicate as much information about process as possible In between initial consultation meetings Anger/FearBe available; open honest, willing to help Selection, moving into individual consultation BargainingListen; be open; non- judgemental, coach Selection and looking for alternatives DepressionBe sensitive, offer support and assistance Termination/Continued employment Testing/AcceptanceAwareness of support offered, removal of tasks, team building mode