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NHS Department restructure

I am a band 6 nurse working for an acute trust.  The department I work for have just finished the consultation period of the restructure.  The proposal is that they reduce the number of band 6 roles from 23 to 11.  They have increased the band 5 nurse roles from 2 to 27.  A slight change ito both job descriptions to incorporate change of hours; from Mon-Fri 8.30 to 4.30, to 8am to 8pm 7 days a week.  There is a selection process for the band 6.  We have had a letter this week informing us of our options.  1, if selected, accept new contract, in position of band 6, 2) those not selected will be downbanded to band 5 job role.  There is no mention of redundancy. My union says we are not being made redundant as we will have a band 5 role.  By being put in a band 5 role, I will be 20% drop in my wage, change of hours and will go from freedom to act, to being supervised.  Any advise if this is all my options?

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  • I am not familiar with the weird and wonderful workings of NHS HR but this looks like a redundancy situation so I would put my TU Rep and management to task to explain why they think it’s not redundancy.

    Clearly the need for Band 6 roles has ceased or diminished ( part of the definition of redundancy ). They are looking at Band 5 as suitable alternative employment which it clearly ( to you ) isn’t.

    So for me that’s redundancy. Unless any NHS colleagues can explain why not.
  • In reply to Keith:

    I asked my union rep the following question; Does your employer need to give you notice that your current contract is ending? The reason I asked this as I will only have two weeks from when the chosen band 6 are selected to apply for any other available nhs posts that are the same band I currently work at. I feel It is harder to secure a band higher than you are working at as it is promotion. The advise of my union rep was 'The employer doesn’t need to give you notice because they are not ending your contract of employment. You will still be employed under the same terms and conditions by the same employer even if you are unsuccessful at retaining your band 6. it is so confusing
  • In reply to Keith:

    Many thanks for your response. The unchosen band 6 nurses will have only two weeks from being told before we have band 5 jobs. Is there any options I have?
    This will affect everything for me, career aspirations, pay, hours. I have dug out my contract for when I started and I can't see anywhere where it states terms and conditions can vary
  • In reply to Lana:

    Yes. Challenge your Union Rep hard on this and escalate within Union. Also ask management ( better if you all do it) to justify contractually and legally why this isn’t a redundancy situation ( ie on what legal or contractual authority they think they can do this). Armed with this information you can then decide what action to take.

    You can’t stop them reorganising and removing so many band six jobs. That’s their management decision. But they have to consult properly and unless there is done very weird agreement in place I can’t see why it isn’t redundancy. Clearly they don’t want to call it that because (a) it will cost them and (b) they will end up with not enough staff to fulfill their hours.

    At this stage ask the very direct question ( but politely) to management and your union and see what answer you get back.
  • Link to the Agenda for Change - the NHS document with your terms and conditions - the section on redundancy and suitable alternative employment: www.nhsemployers.org/.../nhs-redundancy-arrangements
  • If they are offering the band 5 as a suitable alternative I would expect you to receive pay protection in line with your local policy (normally 3 years), have this been mentioned at all?
  • In reply to Annette Gleeson:

    Oxleas found a way of getting around this. A temporary staffing office was created (TSO) with the responsibility to provide temporary staff to wards, units, homes and similar premises due to staff shortages occasioned by vacancies, sickness and other unavoidable situations. A centralised system was therefore created for the management of Temporary workers and ensure the induction and training, accountability and monitoring of temporary workers.

    ________________________

    Tutuapp 9Apps Showbox

  • In reply to Keith:

    Sorry it's been a while in coming back to you and I did take your advise. I have what you could only call a very stressful couple of months. My case so far is that was indeed a redundancy and not downbanding. I put in a grievance straight away stating I did not agree to the new contract been changed as this was a demotion, less pay, change of hours and change of my chosen nursing speciality. During the grievance process and subsequent appeal they terminated my original contract and put me on the new band 5 contract without my knowledge. I didn't know they had done this until I got my pay slip at the end of the month and then checking the employer online details. So at this point it looks like I will be going to tribunal. As I will be representing myself I am researching this and have come across a case law parallel to my situation but am having problems interpreting a statement the judge made. Would you be willing to give me your interpretation of this please if I copy and paste it? Many thanks in anticipation
  • In reply to Lana:

    *I did not agree to the new contract been changed.

    This should read 'I did not agree to the new band 5 contract

    Apologies
  • In reply to Lana:

    How very odd ! Yes post the statement and let’s have a look at it.
  • In reply to Keith:

    Judge Honourable Mr Justice Langstaff
    'The contract of service with an employer is that which is referred to in section 136(1)(a).  There is a distinction between the termination of a contract with an employer and the termination of service for the employer more generally.  In the latter case an employee may remain in the service of the same employer as that employee had served previously, but he is nonetheless dismissed in law if his contract has terminated and been replaced by a fresh contract, at least in the absence of a truly consensual termination.  His contract has ended, though he goes on serving. The general point is well demonstrated by the case of Hogg v Dover College [1990] ICR 39.  
    This distinction between continuing service with the same employer and termination of a contract with the employer needs to be borne in mind.'

    Apologies it's a long one
  • In reply to Lana:

    To me this judgment is relevant to ‘fire and re hire ‘ situations, where the employee who has their former contract terminated and replaced by a new one which they accept can nonetheless claim for unfair dismissal regarding the termination of the former one.
  • In reply to David:

    Many thanks David. It was cited in lees v imperial college. The claimant wasn't rehired but there was a claim for unfair dismissal as her employment contract no longer existed. There is similarities with my situation but there is no age discrimination in my case.
  • In reply to Lana:

    My interpretation is the same as David's - you can claim unfair dismissal because the first contract was terminated, even if the employment remains continuous because another contract starts immediately
  • In reply to Lana:

    Claire

    What are the Trade Unions saying about all this?