Boost for those at risk of redundancy

Generic picture of staff at White City

Staff at risk of redundancy should have a better chance of securing alternative BBC employment from Monday.

A new commitment comes into effect this week that will oblige BBC hiring managers to consider those under threat of losing their jobs for vacancies they are suitably qualified for ahead of other internal or external candidates.

Those at 'provisional' risk of redundancy will be invited to upload their CV to the redeployment database and become part of a 'redeployment priority pool'.

At the start of any recruitment process HR Direct will match the skills required for a job against the CVs in the pool to identify potential candidates for interview. Direct matches are expected to lead to an appointment being made, while hiring managers will be encouraged to develop people into roles for which they fulfil most of the requirements.

World Service strikes

It's the latest expression of the Redeployment Commitments the BBC agreed with the joint unions at the end of 2011 after World Service strikes over compulsory redundancies. Already, a central budget for redundancies and a retraining fund has been created. A joint statement from the BBC and the unions, issued in May, strengthened the original commitments.

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Although it started out as part of dispute resolution with the unions, we were always on the same page”

End Quote Diane Dumas Head of Employee Relations

'I think it's in everyone's best interests to boost our efforts to redeploy people,' says Diane Dumas, head of employee relations. 'Although it started out as part of dispute resolution with the unions, we were always on the same page. The unions' main concern is to protect people's jobs and they wanted assurance that our commitment to priority recruitment would be followed through in practice.'

The unions will now be notified when there are deemed to be no suitable candidates in the redeployment priority pool for a job before it is advertised internally. 'That's their opportunity to question or challenge,' explains Dumas. 'And that's when it becomes critical that line managers can justify their assessment process.'

Certain 'hard to fill roles' are excluded from the procedure. These include technical jobs requiring niche skills and short-term production vacancies. In such cases line managers will be able to go to the wider internal and external market at the same time as the priority pool.

Keeping talent

As well as saving the BBC money in redundancy payments, the new commitment should also help the corporation retain talent, believes Annabel Dixon, head of resourcing and talent. 'Unfortunately, due to the redundancies the BBC has announced as part of DQF, there is a potential that we will lose really great people - so we all need to do what we can to support the redeployment effort.'

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The union's long campaign to improve the redeployment processes should now help to stem the tide of redundancies from the BBC”

End Quote Bectu spokesperson

She is urging those who want to stay at the BBC to upload their CVs at the earliest opportunity to maximise their chances of finding other work. 'It's surprising, but only around 10-15% of those at risk of redundancy do it at the moment. This may be because they have opted for voluntary redundancy or because they have other options externally, but those who do want priority consideration must get their CVs onto the database.'

Bectu hopes that the redeployment commitments will give staff 'the best possible chance' of reskilling or finding other jobs in the BBC.

'Our members remain incredibly proud to work for the BBC and want the option to develop new skills to meet the public sector broadcaster's future challenges,' says a spokesperson. 'The union's long campaign to improve the redeployment processes should now help to stem the tide of redundancies from the BBC.'

Dumas is convinced too that the process will make a difference. 'The extent to which it is working will only become clear over a period of time,' she says, 'notably next year when we anticipate there will be an increased number of DQF related redundancies.'

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