Case Study

Deficit Budget, Restructure and Redundancies


Deficit Budget, Restructure and Redundancies

The need for restructure and redundancies can arise when there is a looming deficit budget and workplace planning will not be sustainable to further delay the need to reduce headcount.

The approach was professional, knowledgeable and compassionate at all times. I personally found the support of our lead HR Consultant to be outstanding. Not only was the advice and service excellent, but the cost extremely reasonable for the level of bespoke support.”

Helen Milligan, Guardian Angels Catholic School

What was the HR situation?

  • Our client brief was to support the restructure of the Teaching Assistant and other support staff teams and reduce the overall headcount by nine in a small one form primary school.
  • The client had never had to undertake a restructure before and ideally wanted the process finalised within seven months and prior to academy conversion. 
  • The client had adopted a lengthy redundancy policy, procedure that stipulated several layers of informal and formal collective consultation.
  • Employees were entitled up to 12 weeks notice period.
  • The client approached Birch-HR after a recommendation from a local Governor. As their local authority had said it would take 12 months to be able to achieve the change they needed due to lack of resources in their team. This encouraged them to explore the option of working with an external consultant.
  • Our client needed to move quickly with the changes to mitigate the financial losses that were ongoing and forecast.

How did the Birch-HR Consultant(s) support?

  • Birch HR Consultant undertook the brief, worked very closely with the Headteacher and Board of Governors to help them put a plan together and consultation document that would enable them to act swiftly and begin consultation as soon as they needed to.
  • Though pro-active meaningful consultation the client was able to mitigate the loss of five roles by reducing the hours of one pool of post holders, and by re-deploying two members of staff from the second pool of post holders. 
  • The HR Consultant led on consultation with the local recognised trade unions on behalf of client and supported effective employee engagement.
  • Redundancy notice was issued to post holders in line with due process and the policy framework.

What was the outcome and how did HR add value?

  • The restructure project from initial brief, consultation, selection and issuing redundancy notice was achieved within just over 5 working months, and the saving needed to mitigate the forecasted financial loss was met.
  • The Birch HR team worked closely with the school to understand their culture and challenges, and lead the process in a supportive, compliant, and sensitive way.

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