The General Purposes Committee on Thursday will be asked to approve a voluntary redundancy process for its staff which will be implemented from the next day Friday August 3rd.
The supporting paper states:
It is proposed that a voluntary redundancy scheme be implemented across the council, with applications during August and September 2018, to enable managers to have information about potential volunteers in advance of planning and implementing restructures to achieve council savings requirements over the next period.
The council has made a commitment in its Change Management policy to seek to avoid compulsory redundancies by using voluntary redundancy where appropriate. A voluntary redundancy scheme is advantageous for both management and employees. It enables employees to come forward and initiate a discussion about their future without fear of committing themselves until all the paperwork has been agreed after exit figures have been finalised. For managers, it means that they can plan reorganisations more effectively, knowing in advance which staff are willing to leave. Implementing compulsory redundancies is a significant drain on management time and is very disruptive for the wider workforce.
All final decisions will be made in one place (CMT) which will ensure consistency and will also enable the council to ensure that implementation of the scheme is affordable in the context of the council’s savings requirements.Each individual case will be assessed on the basis of the efficiency of the service and longer term financial considerations. A payback period of not more than 2 years is proposed.
Applications can only be accepted where it is appropriate to delete the employee’s post (or the post of another member of staff who is suitable for the employee’s post) as there must be a redundancy situation. Where an employee’s post is not suitable for deletion, they may be placed on a central register of employees willing to take voluntary redundancy should another employee facing compulsorily redundancy in the future be a suitable candidate for their post.
The proposal is made against the background of further budget cuts outlined previously on Wembley Matters. The paper does not state how many job cuts are required and figures will depend on the cost to the council of the required pay-outs to staff who opt for redundancy.
The Equality Impact Assessment states:
Staff 55 years of age or over represent 21% of the workforce eligible for the scheme. Any possible discrimination arising from the expectation of a payback period not exceeding 2 years can be materially justified by the policy objectives to contribute to the council’s savings requirements and to the avoidance/minimising of compulsory redundancies in the whole workforce. If costs are not recovered over the required period, this does not contribute to the council’s savings requirements over this period and may mean additional redundancies are required to meet the additional costs of the severance.
57% of the workforce aged less than 55 yrs are female and 50.65% of the workforce aged 55 yrs and over are female so it does not appear likely that there will be any disparate impact in terms of the gender make up of the work force.
Unknown impacts – until applications are received and considered it cannot be predicted with any degree of accuracy whether a disproportionate number of applications will be received and/or approved from any particular group. In view of the higher benefits, it is likely that older employees may be more likely to apply.
Unfortunately 713 of our 2139 staff have not specified their ethnicity so a meaningful analysis of the ethnicity of the 55 yrs and over age group compared to those under 55 yrs. is not possible.