Sometimes it is necessary to make changes to an individual’s role or a team structure in order to meet the changing needs of the Department/Faculty/College. However the College recognises that going through a period of change can be difficult for a member of staff and therefore the change management guidance sets out what you can expect in your situation.

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Change Management policy must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers.

These guidelines relate to the four most common change management situations and what you can expect in each situation:

  • Minor change to Job Description.  A minor change is less than 20% of your role.
  • Major Change to Job Description.  A major change is 20% or more of your role.
  • Restructure with no possibility of redundancy.  A proposed change but redundancy isn’t a possibility.
  • Restructure with the possibility of redundancy.  A proposed change where there may be redundancy.

Staff Guidance

Minor Change to Job Description

Frequently asked questions

Please see below answers to frequently asked questions about a proposed change to a job description. If your question is not answered below, please contact your HR Partner for further information.

What is going to happen?

If your manager thinks it is necessary to update/change your job description and the change(s) are 20% or less of the total role, they will discuss the proposed changes with you. (Please contact your HR representative if you would like further information on what constitutes 20% of the total role). Once discussions are concluded, your manager will confirm a date that you will start working to your new job description.

What are my options?

Any minor changes will be discussed with you and you will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed changes.

If you are not happy with the proposed changes you should discuss this with your line manager or your HR Partner. 

What are the stages of the process?

It is an informal process so there are not any formal stages. Your line manager will arrange a meeting with you to discuss the changes and ask for your views.

How long will it take?

There is no set period of time for minor changes but generally, it should not take more than 30 days.

Who will be involved/know about this?

Only you and your manager will be involved in the informal discussions unless you want to speak to an employee or Trades Union representative. Once discussions are concluded, it may be necessary to let your colleagues know about the change to your Job description.

Who will make the decision?

Your line manager is responsible for drafting the amended job description with the agreed changes. Before they make any decision about possible changes, they should discuss it with you and seek your opinion. 

What are the possible outcomes?

After the consultation process, your line manager will decide whether to go ahead with the proposed changes, implement an amended proposal or to not go ahead with any changes.

You will be told the outcome both verbally and in writing.

Is this going on my file?

An updated version of your job description will be placed on your file.

Major Change to Job Description

Frequently asked questions

Please see below answers to frequently asked questions about a proposed change to a job description. If your question is not answered below, please contact your HR Partner for further information.

What is going to happen?

If your manager thinks it is necessary to update/change your job description and the change(s) are more than 20% of the total role, they will consult with you about the proposed changes. (Please contact your HR representative if you would like further information on what constitutes more than 20% of the total role).

A consultation period of 30 days allows for you to meet with your line manager as often as needed to discuss the changes and come to an agreement.

At the end of the consultation period, you will receive confirmation of the changes to your job description and agree a date for you to start working to the new job description.  

What are the stages of the process?

Major changes require formal consultation. This process involves a meeting with your line manager and you. You can invite an employee or Trades Union representative to this meeting if you wish. 

If the proposed changes affect more than one person, it may be necessary to have a group meeting before having individual meetings.

After the initial meeting, you can request as many follow up meetings with your line manager as you need, during the consultation period.

You should meet with your line manager at the end of the consultation period to confirm what changes will be made to your job description.

How long will it take?

The formal consultation period is 30 days unless more than 100 people are affected in which case this will be extended to a minimum of 45 days.

What are my options?

Any major changes are discussed formally with you and you are given the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed changes during your consultation period.

If you are not happy with the proposed changes you should discuss this with your line manager or your HR Partner.

Who can I talk to?

The College understands that this may be a difficult time for you and you are encouraged to make use of the range of support available to you.

Who will be involved/know about this?

Consultation is between you and your line manager, unless you also want to speak to an employee or Trades Union representative. If you are not the only person affected by the proposal, there may be a group consultation.

HR will attend formal meetings to provide support and advice on policy and procedure.

Who will make the decisions?
Your line manager is responsible for drafting the amended job description with your input.

If you are not happy with the changes you should discuss this with your line manager or a member of your HR team.

What are the possible outcomes?

After the consultation process, your line manager will decide whether to go ahead with the proposed changes, implement an amended proposal or to not go ahead with any changes.

You will be told the outcome both verbally and in writing.

Is this going on my file?

An updated version of your job description will be placed on your file and Human Resources will keep a record of all documents and correspondence from the consultation process and write to you to confirm the change.

Restructure with no redundancies

From time to time, it may be necessary for a manager to review the structure of a team and consider whether it still meets the needs of the College. If it is identified that the current structure does not meet the needs of the College.

Frequently asked questions

Please see below answers to frequently asked questions about a proposed restructure. If your question is not answered below, please contact your HR Partner for further information.

What is going to happen?

If a manager thinks it’s necessary to change the structure of a team, they will consult with everyone affected about the proposed changes and provide you with a business case which outlines the proposed changes and rationale for change. The consultation period will be 30 days which is set aside for you to meet with the manager both as a group and individually as often as needed to discuss the proposal.

At the end of the consultation period, the Head of Department will consider the feedback they have received and decide the outcome of the consultation.    

What are my options?

Any proposed restructure is discussed formally with everyone affected and they are given the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed restructure during a consultation period.

If you are not happy with the proposed restructure you should discuss this with the manager or a member of your HR team.

 Who can I talk to?

The College understands that this may be a difficult time for you and you are encouraged to make use of the range of support available to you.

What are the stages of the process?

Restructures require formal consultation. This process involves a group meeting with all members of staff followed by individual meetings with the manager and a HR Partner. You will have the opportunity to submit a counter proposal and request further meetings during the consultation period.  

At the end of the consultation period, the outcome will be communicated to you and if necessary a meeting will be arranged with you to discuss any next steps.   

How long will it take?

The formal consultation period is 30 days unless more than 100 people are affected then this will be extended to a minimum of 45 days.

Who will be involved/know about this?

Consultation is between you and your line manager, unless you also want to speak to an employee or Trades Union representative. If you are not the only person affected by the proposal, there may be a group consultation.

HR will attend meetings to provide support and advice on policy and procedure.

Who will make the decision?

The Head of Department/Division is responsible for making the decision of whether to go ahead with the proposed restructure, implement an amended restructure or keep the current structure. This will be done once the consultation period has finished and they have considered all feedback that has been provided.  

What are the possible outcomes?

After the consultation process, the Head of Department/Division will decide whether to go ahead with the proposed changes, implement an amended proposal or not to go ahead with any changes.

If the proposed changes are implemented, the manager will discuss with you either amending your job description or transferring you to a new role.

Is this going on my file?

An updated version of your job description will be placed on your file and Human Resources will keep a record of all documents and correspondence from the consultation process.  

 

Restructure with possible redundancies

From time to time, it may be necessary for a manager to review the structure of their team and consider whether it still meets the needs of the College. If it is identified that the current structure or way of working does not meet the needs of the College, they may propose a restructure which could include removing one or more posts from the team. However the College is committed to minimising or avoiding redundancies whenever possible.

Frequently asked questions 

What is going to happen?

If a manager thinks it is necessary to change the structure of a team, they will consult with everyone affected, explore any relevant redundancy avoidance measures that can be taken and provide you with a business case which outlines the proposed changes and rationale for change. The consultation period will be 30 days which is set aside for you to meet with the manager both as a group and individually as often as needed to discuss the proposal.

What are the redundancy avoidance measures?

The measures to be taken to avoid potential redundancies that should be explored both prior and during a change exercise may include:

  • Natural turnover
  • Voluntary accelerated turnover payments, where it will meet operational needs
  • Transfer of cost of appointments wholly or in part to external funds
  • Redeployment and training including to other parts of Imperial College
  • Consideration of freezing external recruitment
  • Voluntary job sharing
  • Voluntary part-time work
  • Voluntary purchase of additional annual leave entitlement
  • Voluntary unpaid sabbatical leave for personal refreshment
  • Voluntary early retirement or voluntary redundancy where it will meet operational needs
  • Savings in non-staff budget
  • Other measures to make savings if the reason for the restructure is purely financial rather than the changing needs of the organisation
  • Explore alternative funding.
 What are my options?

Any proposed restructure is discussed formally with everyone affected and they are given the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed restructure during a consultation period.

If you may be at risk of redundancy should the proposal be implemented, you may want to discuss the following options with the manager or Human Resources

  • Redeployment to an alternative post in the College that is broadly the same as your current role
  • Applying for a vacancy in the College that is not broadly the same as your current role but you believe you have the relevant skills and experience  for

If you are not happy with the proposed restructure you should discuss this with the manager or your HR Partner.

Who can I talk to?

The College understands that this may be a difficult time for you and you are encouraged to make use of the range of support available to you.

What are the stages of the process?

Restructures require formal consultation. This process involves a group meeting with all members of staff followed by individual meetings with the manager and an HR representative. During the consultation period, you will have the opportunity to give feedback and provide a counter proposal. If you are “at risk” of redundancy as a result of the restructure you will also have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

How long will it take?

The formal consultation period is 30 days unless more than 100 people are effected then this will be extended to a minimum of 45 days.

Who will be involved/know about this?

Consultation is between you and the manager. If you are not the only person affected by the proposal, there may be a group consultation. You can also arrange for an employee or TU representative to attend meetings with you.

HR may attend meetings to provide support and advice on policy and procedure.

Who will make the decisions?

Head of Department/Division is responsible for making the decision of whether to go ahead with the proposed restructure, implement an amended restructure or keep the current structure. This will be done once the consultation period has finished and they have considered all feedback that has been provided.  

What are the possible outcomes?

After the consultation process, the Head of Department/Division will decide whether to go ahead with the proposed changes, implement an amended proposal or to not go ahead with any changes.

If the proposed changes are implemented, you will receive a written notice of the end of your contract. You can raise any questions you have with the manager or HR and you have the right to appeal the redundancy to a College panel consisting of three senior members of staff not previously involved in the case.

Is this going on my file?

Human Resources will keep a record of all documents and correspondence from the consultation process. 

 

Managers' Guidance

Minor Change to Job Description

Frequently asked questions

Please see below answers to frequently asked questions about a proposed change to a job description. If your question is not answered below, please contact your HR representative for further information.

How do I know if it is a minor change to the job description?

A minor change is defined as anything that is less than 20% of the role. If you are unsure how much of the role is affected, you should estimate how much of the person's time is spent on each duty/responsibility as a percentage of their working week. If the changes affects less than 20% of their time, then it may be considered a minor change. Please contact your HR representative if you would like further information on what may constitute 20% of the total role.

What should I do before starting the process?

Before consulting with the member of staff, you should read Section A of the Change management policy [pdf]

You should also have copies of the current job description and draft the proposed job description with track changes to highlight the differences.

If you have any questions about making a change to someone’s job description, you should contact your HR team. 

 What are the stages of the process?

It is an informal process so there aren’t any formal stages. You should arrange a meeting with the member of staff to discuss the changes and ask for their views. The purpose of the meeting is to explain the proposed changes and to receive input and feedback from the member of staff. 

After each meeting, you should email the member of staff outlining what was discussed and any agreed actions.

Once discussions have been exhausted and all the member of staff questions have been answered, you should prepare an updated job description and give a copy to them.

How long will it take?

There is no set period of time for minor changes but generally it shouldn’t take more than 30 days.

Who should be involved? 

Consultation is between you and the member of staff. They may also want to involve an employee or Trades Union representative which they have the right to do.

Major Change to Job Description

Frequently asked questions

Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions about a proposed change to a job description. If your question is not answered below, please contact your HR representative for further information.

How do I know if it is a major change to the job description?

A major change is defined as anything that is more than 20% of the role. If you are unsure how much of the role is effected, you should estimate how much of the person's time is spent on each duty/responsibility as a percentage of their working week. If the changes affect more than 20% of their time, then it may be considered a major change. Please contact your HR representative if you would like further information on what may constitute more than 20% of the total role.

What should I do before starting the process?

Before consulting with the member of staff, you should read Section B of the Change management policy [pdf]

You should also have copies of the current job description and the proposed job description before starting consultation with tracked changes to highlight the differences. You will also need to gather information in support of the need for change and to prepare a business case, with input from HR.

If you have any questions about making a change to someone’s job description, you should contact your HR representative. 

What are the stages of the process?

Major changes require formal consultation. This process involves formally inviting the member of staff to a meeting, giving them at least five working days' notice. They can invite an employee or Trades Union representative to this meeting if they wish.

If the proposed changes affect more than one person, it may be necessary to have a group meeting before having individual meetings.

After the initial meeting, they can request as many follow up meetings with you as they need, during the consultation period.

You should arrange a meeting at the end of the consultation period to confirm what changes will be made to the job description.

How long will it take?

The formal consultation period is 30 days unless more than 100 people are effected then this will be extended to a minimum of 45 days.

Who should be involved?

Consultation is between you and the member of staff. They may also want to involve an employee or Trades Union representative, which they have the right to do.

Before starting the consultation process, you should contact your HR representative for advice and support on policy and procedure. A member of HR will also be available to attend any formal meetings.

Restructure with no redundancies

 

Frequently asked questions

Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions about a proposed restructure. If your question is not answered below, please contact your HR representative for further information.

What should I do before starting the process?

Before consulting with the member of staff, you should read Section B of the Change management policy [pdf] and speak with your HR representative.

You will need to prepare a business case with input from Human Resources which outlines your proposal and includes any new or updated job descriptions.

What is a business case?

A business case is a document that outlines the current and proposed structures, rationale for change and implications of the change. Full details of what to include in a business case are available in the Change Management Policy and Procedure.

What are the stages of the process?

Restructuring a team requires formal consultation. This process involves arranging a group meeting with the team to start the consultation process. They can invite an employee or Trades Union representative to this meeting if they wish. 

After the group meeting, you should arrange individual meetings with all those affected. They can also request as many follow up meetings with you as they need, during the consultation period and/or provide counter proposals.

You should arrange a meeting at the end of the consultation period to confirm if the proposal is going ahead, an amended restructure is being implemented or the current structure will remain unchanged.

How long will it take?

The formal consultation period is 30 days unless more than 100 people are effected then this will be extended to a minimum of 45 days.

Who should be involved?

Consultation is between you and the members of staff affected by the change. They may also want to involve employee or Trades Union representatives which they have the right to do.

Before starting the consultation process, you should contact your HR Team for advice and support on policy and procedure. A member of HR will also be available to attend any formal meetings.

Restructure with possible redundancies

From time to time, it may be necessary for you to review the structure of your team and consider whether it still meets the needs of the Department/Faculty/College. However the College is committed to minimising or avoiding redundancies whenever possible and any relevant redundancy avoidance measures should be explored. If you have identified that the current structure does not meet the needs of the College, you may want to propose a new structure which could include removing one or more posts from the team. Removing a post may result in a member of your team being placed “at risk” of redundancy.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do before starting the process?

Before consulting with the members of staff, you should read Section B of the Change management policy [pdf] and speak with your HR representative.

You will need to consider the measures to avoid redundancy and prepare a business case with input from Human Resources which outlines your proposal and includes any new or updated job descriptions.

What are the measure to avoid redundancy?

The measures to be taken to avoid potential redundancies that should be explored both prior to and during a change exercise may include:

  • Natural turnover
  • Voluntary accelerated turnover payments, where it will meet operational needs
  • Transfer of cost of appointments wholly or in part to external funds
  • Redeployment and training including to other parts of Imperial College
  • Consideration of freezing external recruitment
  • Voluntary job sharing
  • Voluntary part-time work
  • Voluntary purchase of additional annual leave entitlement
  • Voluntary unpaid sabbatical leave for personal refreshment
  • Voluntary early retirement or voluntary redundancy where it will meet operational needs
  • Savings in non-staff budget
  • Other measures to make savings if the reason for the restructure is purely financial rather than changing needs of the organisation
  • Explore alternative funding.

What is a business case?

A business case is a document that outlines the current and proposed structures, rationale for change and implications of the change. Full details of what to include in a business case are available in the Change management policy [pdf]

What are the stages of the process?

Restructuring a team requires formal consultation. This process involves arranging a group meeting with the team to start the consultation process. They can invite employee or Trades Union representatives to this meeting if they wish. 

After the group meeting, you should arrange individual meetings with all those affected. They can also request as many follow up meetings with you as they need, during the consultation period and/or submit a counter proposal.

You should arrange a meeting at the end of the consultation period to confirm the proposal is going ahead.

How long will it take?

The formal consultation period is 30 days unless more than 100 people are effected then this will be extended to a minimum of 45 days.

Who should be involved?

Consultation is between you and the members of staff affected by the change. They may also want to involve employee or TU representatives which they have the right to do.

Before starting the consultation process, you should contact your HR Team for advice and support on policy and procedure. A member of HR will also be available to attend any formal meetings.

What can I do to avoid redundancies?

If someone in the team may be at risk of redundancy if the proposal is implemented, you may want to discuss the following options with them

  • Any possible redeployment  opportunities, i.e. transferring to an alternative post in the College that is broadly the same as their current role
  • Applying for a vacancy in the College that is not broadly the same as their current role but they may have the relevant skills and experience  for

Discussions regarding possible alternative roles in the College are not instead of consulting with the member of staff about the proposed restructure but can be discussed whilst consultation is ongoing and feedback is being sought.

What happens if redundancies can’t be avoided?

After the consultation period has ended and if no alternative post is found, the member of staff will be considered at risk of redundancy. Staff will then receive their notice in writing with details of any redundancy payment. They will then have the right to appeal their redundancy.

You should offer assistance to any member of staff who is at risk of redundancy in finding a new role, including making career counselling available to them and time off to seek other employment and undertake any training.

What can I do if someone has the potential ability but not the immediate experience to undertake a particular position in the new structure?

In this situation, you should consider whether a trial period during which training is provided is reasonable.  If the member of staff is able and willing to undertake a trial period, a timeframe should be agreed (usually four weeks).

Redundancy entitlements are not affected by the trial period in the event that it is not successful and they are not confirmed in post.

 

Accessible documents

Some of the downloadable documents linked to on this page are not accessible. For accessible versions, please contact hrpolicy@imperial.ac.uk.