UCL Human Resources


Redeployment Policy

This policy covers the process to help eligible staff, whose role is at risk of termination, find a different job within UCL.



  1. UCL is committed to avoiding redundancies and the termination of contracts as far as possible. Where this is not possible UCL will support affected employees to seek alternative employment elsewhere in the university, through the process of redeployment. 

  2. redeployee is an employee whose employment in their current role is potentially coming to an end. This may be because one of the following applies:

  • their post is at risk of redundancy (e.g. due to a restructure; expiry of fixed funding; expiry of a fixed term contract where the post or work will cease to exist)

  • a fixed term contract is coming to an end because an absent substantive employee will return to the post (e.g. due to a secondment, or parental leave)

  • the contract end date is linked to the end of studies (for example Post Graduate Teaching Assistants)

  • the individual can no longer do their current role because of a disability (under the Equality Act 2010) and redeployment is recommended as a reasonable adjustment.

  • Following the outcome of a formal procedure such as the Grievance Procedure, or the Sickness Absence Policy, where redeployment is recommended.

  • In exceptional circumstances, as agreed with the Director of Employee Relations and Policy, an employee may be permitted to join the redeployment process for some other reason. 

3. This policy is intended to ensure that:

  • Employees in a redeployment situation are retained by UCL wherever possible.

  • A fair and consistent approach is adopted in the management of redeployment.

  • Effective support is provided for employees affected by redeployment. 

  • UCL fulfils its legal obligations, including identifying “suitable alternative employment” for employees at risk of redundancy.

4. Redeployment should not be used as an alternative to managing an employee's performance or conduct. 

Suitable alternative employment

  1. By law an employer must offer those at risk of redundancy "suitable alternative employment" if it is available. The following criteria are usually used to determine whether a post is "suitable alternative employment": 

  • the employee has the knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience to perform the new role; and

  • the terms and conditions of the work are no less favourable e.g. similar status, location, job duties, pay/grade, hours and responsibility. 

  1. If the criteria for suitable alternative employment is met, UCL should offer the post to the redeployee (unless another redeployee of the same or greater priority also meets the criteria).

  2. It will be the joint responsibility of the line manager and the HR Business Partner to ensure that any "suitable alternative employment" opportunities are identified within their department. 

Alternative employment

8. In addition to the statutory requirement of offering suitable alternative employment, UCL also allows redeployees to apply (with priority access before the job is advertised) for any role at their grade or below if they believe it is suitable for them and they can meet the essential criteria of the person specification with reasonable training. 

9. Such roles may not necessarily fit the criteria of "suitable alternative employment" because the role has different terms and conditions.

10. However, if the redeployee feels that the vacancy may be suitable for them and is willing to accept the different terms and conditions, they may make an application. 

11. If an employee is redeployed at the same grade, they will be appointed to the same spine point as their current post. Where an employee is redeployed into a post at a lower grade, they will be appointed at the top spine point of the grade (excluding contribution points), effective from the date they start the trial period. Any other changes in terms and conditions of the new post will also apply from the date they start the trial period. 

12. Redeployment to a higher graded post is not supported under redeployment and should be applied for through the normal recruitment process. Occasionally due to organisational change, if a higher graded post is identified to be suitable alternative employment within the department the redeployee may be considered for that role in line with UCL's Organisational Change Procedure

Priorities for redeployment 

13. UCL has a legal obligation to prioritise some redeployees over others when there is “suitable alternative employment” or alternative employment available. The priority ordering is as follows: 

First Priority 

14. Employees who have notified UCL that they are pregnant. If the employee has a miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy, they will have priority status until 2 weeks after their pregnancy has ended.

15. Employees who are on, or have returned from, maternity leave (including after a stillbirth after 24 weeks pregnancy), or adoption leave.  They will have priority status for:

  •  18 months from the child’s date of birth, if this is notified to UCL before the end of maternity leave, or;
  •  18 months from the Expected Week of Childbirth if they did not inform UCL of the birth date, or;
  •  18 months from the date of the adoption placement or date of entry into Great Britain (if overseas adoption).

The 18 months shall include any time spent on maternity, adoption or other statutory leave.

16. Employees who are on or have returned from shared parental leave. They will have priority status from the date they commence their shared parental leave until, either:

  • the end of the period of shared parental leave, if this is less than six continuous weeks, or;
  • 18 months (including time spent on shared parental or other statutory leave) from the child’s date of birth or date of the adoption placement, if more than six continuous weeks of shared parental leave is taken.

If the employee has also taken maternity or adoption leave, the duration of the priority status is as per maternity or adoption leave.

17. Redeployees in the First Priority category have equal priority with each other. 

18.  First Priority redeployees must automatically be offered a vacancy which has been identified as "suitable alternative employment".  However, in practice, an interview may have to take place between the recruiting manager and the redeployee to ensure that the vacancy is “suitable alternative employment”. If they are absent from work this may take the form of a conversation with the employee over the telephone or by video call, or an assessment may be made by the current line manager, the recruiting line manager and the HR Business Partner.  A trial period will commence on a date agreed by the line manager and the hiring manager or when they return from leave.

19. If the redeployment opportunity is not “suitable alternative employment" but is instead “alternative employment” the redeployee in First Priority may still be considered for the role ahead of other redeployees. 

Second Priority

20. Employees who have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010) and for whom redeployment into an alternative post has been recommended as a reasonable adjustment. 

Third Priority

21. All other redeployees who have 6 months continuous service and whose post may come to an end due to one of the reasons in para. 2.  

Reasonable training 

22. Redeployees may need training to succeed in the trial period for the new role; such training will be at the expense of the new department. Where the training required is reasonable (in time or cost), the redeployee may be appointed to the post. 

Redeployment into fixed term contracts

23. A redeployee may be considered for a fixed term contract (including secondment opportunities) through redeployment. When the fixed term contract is expected to expire without being renewed, the employee will re-enter the redeployment process three months before the end of the contract. 

24. If the fixed term role is to cover the absence of a substantive absent employee, and the termination of the contract is due to their return the employee will not be eligible for a redundancy payment (even if previously eligible). They will, however, be entitled to re-enter the redeployment process again. 

25. Redeployees should therefore consider carefully before applying for a fixed term role which is to cover an existing employee and will need to balance the amount of a redundancy payment (if eligible) with the prospect of continuing employment. 

Joining the redeployment process

26. The redeployment process will usually commence as part of a consultation meeting either between the employee and the line manager, or as part of an organisational change team consultation meeting. This should be at least three months prior to the employee's potential termination date.  Others who are eligible for redeployment under any other procedure will be given details at the appropriate point.

27. The manager will direct those who are eligible for redeployment to the guidance below on how to register for job alerts and apply for jobs, at the point they become eligible to apply.  

Guide - Register for redeployment job alerts and apply for jobs

28. Redeployees are given 5-day priority access to these vacancies ahead of these roles being advertised. 

29. Redeployment is not a route to career progression as this would give redeployees unfair access to vacancies before they are advertised. Therefore, redeployees must limit their redeployment applications to those at their current grade or below. If a role is offered to a redeployee, and it later comes to light that they have used the redeployment process to secure a role at a higher grade, the offer will be withdrawn. 

30. Posts may not be externally advertised until consideration has been given to redeployees. Any redeployee who applies and demonstrates that they meet or could meet the essential criteria with reasonable training will be interviewed.

31. If a redeployee is not appointed the recruiting manager or administrator must log into Talentlink to progress the vacancy to internal or external advert but should also extend the redeployee advert closing date to match the date of the internal or external advert. Any redeployees who apply at the same grade or below should continue to be interviewed ahead of other candidates at any stage. 

Applying for redeployment opportunities

32. Line managers must allow the redeployee reasonable time off to attend interviews and training that might support obtaining further employment within or outside of UCL. Two days will be paid (pro rata for part-time employees), the remaining time will be unpaid or the employee may request annual leave or make up the time. 

33. In addition to registering for job alerts through the redeployment jobsite redeployees may also consider current vacancies and secondment opportunities which have already gone out to advert and can sign up for additional email notifications through the 'job email alerts' option on UCL jobsite

34. If the redeployee is absent from work for any reason, they may wish to be proactive in applying for redeployment opportunities during the absence, if they do not want to miss out on alternative employment. 

35. Redeployees must apply by the relevant closing date, in the usual way.

36. In order to ensure that redeployees are prioritised in the correct order the redeployee must state their priority category of redeployment status in the redeployment application form.

37. The redeployee must detail in their supporting statement how they meet the criteria in the Person Specification. 

38. The redeployee may apply for opportunities up to and including their last day of employment with UCL or up until they have accepted a job offer. If they are offered and accept the job after their last day of employment, they may keep their statutory redundancy pay and any enhanced redundancy pay. However, there must be a two week break in service before they start the new role, and their continuity of service will be broken.


39. The recruiting manager will first assess and interview any redeployee(s) who are in the First and Second Priority. If there are no applicants or they cannot meet the essential criteria with reasonable training, then Third Priority redeployees will be assessed and interviewed.

40. Redeployees' applications will be assessed by the recruitment panel in line with the standard shortlisting and interview process, i.e. based on whether they meet the essential criteria for the position or could meet the essential criteria with reasonable training. 

41. A written record of the assessment of each redeployee candidate will be uploaded into the Talentlink record by the recruiting manager. 

42. Where the selection panel considers that the redeployee could not meet the criteria with reasonable training, the recruiting manager will discuss this with their HR Business Partner and the redeployee's HR Business Partner. Having sought HR advice, the recruiting manager will then inform the redeployee in writing with appropriate feedback, copying in both HR Business Partners. 

Making an offer 

43. If two or more redeployees are considered appointable, the redeployee in the highest priority category will be appointed. If two or more redeployees are in the same category the candidate with the highest interview and assessment score will be offered the position (subject to reasonable training and a trial period). In the event of a tie-break the desirable criteria in the person specification may be used to make a decision. 

44. Before an offer is made, the recruiting manager will ensure all pre-employment checks are completed, including obtaining a reference from the current line manager, undertaking a right to work check and obtaining a DBS if required. If someone holds a Skilled Worker visa the job offer must fall within the same SOC code and advice must be sought from HR Services regarding updating the Certificate of Sponsorship.

45. Where a part time redeployee wishes to maintain their FTE and/or their working hours, the line manager should consider this.

46. Where a redeployee has an Adjustments Passport in place they may need to raise this with the recruiting manager to see whether it will need reviewing. 

47. Should a redeployee unreasonably refuse an offer of "suitable alternative employment", they must submit in writing why they consider the post to be unsuitable to the HR Business Partner. Where it is agreed that the post is not suitable, the redeployee will remain in the redeployment process until the end of their notice period or fixed term expiry date and will receive their redundancy payment if eligible. If the post is still considered “suitable alternative employment”, despite the redeployee's objections, the redeployee will leave UCL at the end of the notice period/the fixed term contract and may forfeit any entitlement to a redundancy payment if applicable. 

48. A redeployee will be expected to accept or decline a redeployment offer within 24 hours. However, if the redeployee has been shortlisted for another opportunity and that interview will take place within one week, they may hold the job offer until the other interview has taken place. 

49. Once an offer is accepted the redeployee will no longer be a redeployee and will be expected to withdraw from any other redeployment applications or interview processes. They must also deregister from the redeployee job alerts.

Redeployment is not found

50. Where a redeployee has not been successfully redeployed by the end of the notice period or the end of a fixed term contract, they will leave UCL's employment and will receive a redundancy payment if eligible. 

Start date of new post and trial period 

51. A trial period of at least four weeks, but usually eight weeks, will apply to enable both the redeployee and new line manager to fully assess whether the post is a suitable alternative in practice. The trial period will be financed by the Department/Division into which the employee is redeployed, and any training required must be contained within this period. 

52. In exceptional circumstances, for example to facilitate necessary training, the trial period can be extended to a maximum of 12 weeks, which must be confirmed in writing. 

53. Employees will start the trial period of the new role the day after their notice period or fixed term contract finishes. They will be paid the salary of the new role from the start of the trial period. 

54. If the outgoing manager, the recruiting manager and the employee are all in agreement, the employee may take up the new role before the expiry of the notice period or fixed term contract. In this situation, the employee will voluntarily curtail their notice period or fixed term and will start the trial period of the new role on the revised agreed date. They will be paid the salary of the new role from the start date of the trial period. 

55. At the beginning of the trial period, the new line manager will meet with the redeployee to outline expectations of performance standards and clarify what is being assessed and how it will be assessed. Both parties should continue to meet weekly during the trial period to review progress, and to determine if any further training or support is required. The line manager will make written notes of the meetings. 

56. Should the redeployee decide that the post is unsuitable they must give their line manager their reasons in writing during the trial period. 

If the line manager and HR Business Partner agree with the redeployee, the redeployee may leave the organisation immediately or on an agreed date. They will receive their redundancy payment if applicable (at the rate that would have been paid at the end of their notice period or expiry of a fixed term). 

Where the reasons submitted by the redeployee are not accepted, and they wish to leave the job, they will be expected to resign in the usual way and may forfeit any entitlement to a redundancy payment if eligible. 

57. Should the line manager believe that the redeployee may not be appointable at the end of the trial period, this should be raised with the redeployee as soon as concerns arise. The line manager must also seek advice from the HR Business Partner. Further training and support may be offered if considered reasonable by the line manager. 

58. At the end of the trial period if the line manager still believes the redeployee is not appointable the redeployee's employment will end with no notice and the redundancy payment (if applicable) will be paid (at the rate that would have been paid had employment terminated at the end of the notice period or fixed term).

59. Where the trial period is successful the redeployee will be confirmed in the new post. 

Review of Policy

This policy is not contractual and may be varied from time-to-time following consultation with UCL's recognised trade unions. 


Roles and Responsibilities


Responsible for


  • Fully cooperating in the redeployment process in line with the principles and procedures of this policy.
  • Signing up for redeployment and general email job alerts.
  • Considering vacancies already out to advert.

Redeployee's current line manager/ Head of Department

  • Exploring in the first instance redeployment opportunities within the redeployee's current department and considering alternatives to redundancy where possible.
  • Directing the redeployee to the guidance on how to register for job alerts and apply for roles as a redeployee.
  • Fully supporting the redeployee throughout the redeployment process. 
  • Remaining responsible for the line management of the redeployee for the duration of the redeployment period.

Recruiting manager and shortlisting panel of vacant post

  • Considering redeployees in priority order.
  • Considering redeployees ahead of other internal and external candidates.
  • Regularly meeting with the redeployee throughout the trial period to provide support and to monitor and review progress.

HR Business Partner

  • Providing advice and support to the redeployee and line managers/recruiting managers.
  • Ensuring that potential “suitable alternative employment” opportunities within the department are considered for employees in the First Priority.
  • Ensuring that staff for whom redeployment is not automatic/is unexpected have a redeployment eligibility period recorder on MyHR.

Workplace Health

  • Providing advice and support to the redeployee's current line manager/Head of Department and HR Business Partner where an employee has a disability or medical condition (as identifies under the Equality Act 2010) which may result in them being unable to continue in their existing post, and/or on the employee's capability to undertake suitable alternative employment. 


HR Employment Policy Team

April 2024