Contract End Management - Guidance
The University of Glasgow is committed to engaging all members of its workforce on the most appropriate contract, and to doing this in a fair and transparent way. A range of contractual arrangements are utilised, reflecting the fact that levels of work are variable and sometimes unpredictable.
The Contract Types web pages explain how different contract types are typically utilised at the University.
This guidance note is intended to provide further information for Principal Investigators/Budget Holders and/or relevant line managers around the management of contracts which are of an open-ended with funding-end date or fixed-term nature and are approaching their specified end-date.
The underlying principles which guide the management of contracts with end-dates are:
- to preserve and maintain employment as far as possible
- to communicate openly and take appropriate action (e.g. securing additional funding) at the earliest possible opportunity
- to assist individuals to consider and explore options in line with their individual career aspirations
- to clearly and fairly manage employee expectations around the process and it’s possible outcomes
The process is best viewed as a series of events which typically take place at:
- 10 - 7 months from the end-date (Preparation)
- 6 - 5 months from the end-date (Consultation)
- 4 months from the end-date (Continued consultation and planning for notice being issued)
- 3 months from the end-date (Issuing Notice)
The Process Diagram – Management of Contracts with End-Dates provides further information on the overall process.
Every month, the HR Systems team distribute a report containing all staff 10 months or less from the end-date specified in their contract. This data is sent to:
- Heads of College/University Service
- Heads of School/Research Institute or Service
- Principal Investigators/Budget Holders
- Line Managers (if different from the PI/Budget Holder)
The monthly data is set out in a format which identifies potentially affected individuals categorised by stage (i.e. distance to end-date), along with specific instructions (and links to guidance) applicable to each stage.
It is accepted that different areas of the University will have different preferences around who should lead on consultation activity, be it the PI/Budget Holder or the relevant line manager. As such, dialogue should take place at a local level to agree who is best placed to manage the consultation.
The following sub-sections provide additional information on the actions required at each stage of the process (in addition to the summaries already contained in the monthly reports).
10 - 7 months from the end-date (Preparation)
Those who receive notification of staff who are between 10 and 7 months from their end-date should:
- Consider, in conjunction with relevant others (e.g. PI/Budget Holder), whether the role in question is likely to continue (or not):
If yes, consider:
- On which basis? (e.g. additional funding will be secured)
- The degree of confidence behind the expectation
- Whether or not it is possible to formally confirm the extension at this stage (via a Manager Request)
- If no, consider:
- What are the alternatives? (e.g. redeployment to another role)
- Whether other staff perform the same, similar or interchangeable work and if so, seek advice from the relevant local HR Team on whether or not the creation of a redundancy pool may be appropriate
- Where possible, communicate any applicable information to the relevant employee(s) as early in the process as possible, whilst managing expectations appropriately
- Give particular consideration to how staff with longer service will be consulted
- Plan the forthcoming consultation process accordingly depending on the circumstances of each case to ensure that consultation happens in good time ahead of HR issuing formal notification of the contract ending (usually 3 months from the end date)
6 - 5 months from the end date (Consultation)
Those who receive notification of staff who are 6 - 5 months from their end dates should:
- Be aware that an automated message will have been sent to the noted employees at the 6-month point to inform them that a period of consultation has now begun
- Commence proper consultation with the noted employees (if not already done so), referring to Guidance – Carrying out Individual Consultation as required (in conjunction with the relevant PI/Budget Holder or line manager)
- Note that the consultation period should continue until an extension is confirmed, an alternative option is secured or the employee reaches the end of their contract (i.e. consultation should continue once the employee has been issued notice as per the section below)
- Where no extension is likely, consider the scope for securing employment through other channels such as:
- The University’s Redeployment Register (noting that Research and Teaching roles are not available through the register)
- Encouraging the use of the University’s job pages (through which job alerts can be created and staff ‘at risk’ are given a priority interview should they meet the essential criteria for any given role)
- Opportunities known to the PI/Budget Holder or line manager within their own specialist areas or through connections/links to other units or institutions
- Take brief notes or records of the consultation meetings for future reference
- Follow any HR advice given in situations where a wider redundancy pool was identified at the 10 – 7 month point (above).
Those managing the process may find the following helpful at this stage:
4 months from the end-date (Continued consultation and planning for notice being issued)
Relevant managers should note that staff 4 months from their end-date will be written to by HR in approximately 1 months’ time (i.e. 3 months from their end date) to give notice that their employment will end on the noted end-date. This action will progress unless HR are notified of any alternative outcome (e.g. additional funding being secured) therefore it is important that managers continue to consult as per the previous stage and notify HR if the outcome is to be any different.
3 months from the end date (Issuing Notice)
At the point where an employee is 3 months[i] from their end date, HR automatically issue notice of dismissal (as per the contract of employment).
In cases where no alternative outcome has been secured, consultation should continue (as outlined above) until the employee’s end-date.
During the notice period itself, employees retain a right of appeal against the ending of their contract. This is outlined to them in their notification from HR. Managers may need to participate in appeals processes as necessary.
[i] 3 months is the typical notice period. In some cases, only 1 months’ notice will be issued however the same principles of the process apply