Restructuring & Redundancy

The chances are at some point in a dietitians working life they will be involved in a restructure of the dietetic department or the workplace.  The NHS is certainly no newcomer to restructuring its workforce and especially in these times of austerity and in particular whilst the NHS continues to review its cost efficiencies and its ability to meet the delivery of high standards in patient care.


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Restructure

The employer can restructure their business or how the business operates at any time they wish and this is normally done to improve efficiency or where due to loss of contracts or work the workforce needs to be redeployed.  This is not just where a dietitian has been asked to take on a task or piece of work by the manager that can happen as part of the daily departmental function.  This is where it would require major changes such a changing speciality of job.

Restructures are normally preceded by a short period of consultation following announcement from the employer of their intentions and what changes are being considered.

If the restructuring means the loss of jobs or staff then this would be dealt with in order to comply with Redundancy Legislation.

The dietitian should obtain from the employer a copy of the local Redundancy and redeployment Procedure as this is the process the employer will follow.  The BDA have produced guidance on what a Redundancy and Redeployment Procedure should look like. 

The BDA has produced guidance on restructuring, Down banding, Redundancy and Contract Changes.

A dietitian who is in a restructure can seek advice and support from the local BDA Trade Union Representative or the Trade Union Office.


Redeployment

Redeployment is the process where due to a restructuring a dietitian’s job is no longer required so the employer intends to redeploy the dietitian into a different job that the employer feels is a Reasonable Alternative Job.

The Job the employer is offering has to be within the dietetians ability to adapt to (possibly with training the employer will provide) and not be too big a drop in status.  In the NHS status is determined as pay band.  The job offered does not have to be the same type of work or specialty as the job the dietitian is currently doing. 

CAUTION – To turn down a reasonable alternative job without reasonable grounds means the employer can take I that the dietitian has terminated their contract of employment and is not required to pay redundancy pay in such circumstances.

The BDA has produced guidance on restructuring, Down banding, Redundancy and Contract Changes.

The dietitian can get advice and support from the Local BDA Trade Union Representative or the Trade Union Office.


Redundancy

Redundancy is when a dietitian’s job is no longer required by the employer and there is no suitable alternative job for the dietitian to be redeployed into.  Or where due to the reduction of work done by a number of dietetians the employer has to reduce the number of dietetians employed and again there are no reasonable alternative jobs for the dietetians.

In a redundancy situation the person’s employment contract is terminated and they are compensated with redundancy pay.  This could be statutory redundancy pay or an enhanced redundancy rate which will be determined by the contract of employment.

For the dietitian to know what the entitlement of redundancy pay is the dietitian will need a copy of their contract of employment or in the case of the NHS the Agenda for Change handbook.

The BDA has produced guidance on restructuring, Down banding, Redundancy and Contract Changes. And on Redundancy You Have A Right.

The dietitian can get advice and support from the Local BDA Trade Union Representative or the Trade Union Office.


Contract Change

This is the accepted process used by the employer where they need to renegotiate the dietitan’s Contract of Employment Terms and Conditions.

It is mentioned here as a dietitian may find that the employer wishes or even the dietitan wishes to ask for changes to the employment Contract Terms.

The BDA has produced guidance on restructuring, Down banding, Redundancy and Contract Changes.

The dietitian can get advice and support from the Local BDA Trade Union Representative or the Trade Union Office.

More information can be found under the Terms and Conditions section of the website.


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