Review and Restructure Policy and Procedures


All academic and professional staff members  


To minimise the impact to staff during any significant organisational change process and provide a framework for consultation and change management principles during such change.  


1. The University regularly reviews how best to implement organisational objectives to give effect to its Strategic Plan

2. Where such review may lead to potential significant organisational change, the University will ensure the following principles are applied:

  • A fair and transparent process including impacts on Māori and equity groups be considered as appropriate
  • Uncertainty for employees is minimised
  • Placement of existing employees into available positions is maximised
  • Relevant provisions contained within employment agreements are observed and applied
  • Minimum disruption to business-as-usual is ensured
  • Staff have access to a paid confidential assistance programme/s and services throughout the change process
  • Recognition of the University’s strategic objectives for Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Related procedures


3. Where the University has identified a potential change that may have a significant impact on employee/s, it will engage with the unions on the proposed changes

4. The parties will maintain confidentiality of all information relating to discussions during this pre-consultation phase


5. Prior to advising staff of a formal proposal to review, the University will formally notify the unions that a review is imminent and outline:

  • The reasons for the review
  • The employees (or group of employees) who may be affected by the review
  • The proposed timeframe and process for the review

6. The confidentiality of this information will be maintained until the review is announced by the University

7. This shall be no earlier than five working days from the date this communication is provided to the union(s); the notification period may be reduced by agreement

8. The University will consult with affected staff and the union(s) prior to wider staff consultation and release of the formal proposal

9. The following is to be read in conjunction with the Professional Staff and Academic Staff Collective Agreements (CAs) that provide for consultation by the University with staff prior to any decision being taken that may affect their role. Similar provisions are found in the other CAs of the University

10. Consultation will commence as early in the process as possible; no final decisions regarding the proposal will be made until consultation is complete

11. The purpose of such consultation is to allow the parties sufficient opportunity to investigate alternative options in good faith

12. The University will consult for a period of four weeks; however this period may be varied by mutual agreement between the parties as appropriate

13. The consultation process will include:

  • The University meeting with affected employees and, if the employees so wish, a support person/their union/representative
  • The University providing relevant information so that affected employees understand the proposal
  • Affected employees being given an opportunity and reasonable time to make submissions/recommendations
  • Employees may make submissions/recommendations on their own behalf and/or through their support person/union/representative
  • The University taking into account any options for change provided by the employee or their representative before making a final decision


Confirmation of and appointment to new structure

14. Using impact assessment methodology as defined below, the impact of change to staff roles will be assessed against one of the following categories. Note the below are general principles, within each level of impact, the parties will seek to maintain flexibility and opportunity to explore options on a case by case basis:

  • Unchanged. These positions are the same as existing positions. A change in position title or reporting line is not deemed as a significant change in position and those positions are considered unchanged.
  • Substantively similar. New positions which are up to 20 percent different or at least 80 percent similar to an existing position.
  • Comparable. New positions which are 21-40 percent different or at least 60 percent similar to an existing position.
  • Not comparable. New positions which are more than 40 percent different from existing positions.


Directly confirming existing permanent staff into positions

15. Staff whose positions have been assessed as unchanged or substantively similar to a position in the confirmed structure, and/or comparable where a new position is available that does not require a selection process will be confirmed into that position

16. Employees who do not accept roles that are unchanged or substantively similar/comparable to their current roles are not entitled to redundancy compensation


17. Where confirmation is not feasible, employees will be considered for redeployment where there are appropriate available positions

18. Where there are reduced numbers of common roles in the new structure (a ‘many to few’ situation), all directly impacted incumbents will be given preferential consideration for the new role(s), and an appointment process based on merit, will apply

19. Only those employees whose positions were disestablished as a consequence of a ‘many to few’ situation will be eligible to be considered for the related vacant new position in the first instance

20. Employees who are being preferably considered for positions will have this confirmed in writing, and be advised of the selection process

21. The University reserves the right to appoint this group of employees, namely those in a ‘many to few’ scenario, to unchanged or substantively similar/comparable positions, irrespective of whether or not they have expressed interest

22. Where there are multiple non-comparable roles as a result of changes, a process will be conducted based initially on expressions of interest

23. Should no such expressions be received, or where there are too many candidates for the number of roles (many to few), a recruitment process will be conducted, and decisions to appoint will be based on the requisite skills and competencies required, for the role

24. Staff in disestablished positions will receive a redeployment pack with information on completing an expression of interest (EOI) and career summary form

25. Using the EOI, staff can express interest in vacancies. In the first instance, employees will be asked to indicate only those positions they would be happy to accept redeployment into. To further assist when reviewing EOIs, employees will be asked to rank their preferences, but this does not guarantee that employees will be redeployed into these positions

26. Candidates will undergo an interview and will be able to bring a support person or whanau support to the interview

27. Interview panels will use a set of defined criteria related to position to make selection decisions

Selection criteria

28. The University is committed to ensuring existing staff members under redeployment are given every opportunity to be successful when applying for vacant positions

29. The selection criteria will include skills and capabilities outlined in each relevant position description. Shortlisting, assessments and interviews will be based on these criteria

30. Selection methods will include at least one panel interview and all preferred applicants will be reference checked, with at least one reference being from an existing or past manager from within the University

31. After considering all eligible internal applicants for new roles from the pool of eligible staff the panel may conclude that there are no applicants with the appropriate skills set

32. If this occurs, an internal recruitment process will be initiated in which all existing staff will be eligible to apply for any position that remains vacant

33. After considering all internal applicants for new roles the panel may conclude that there are no applicants with the appropriate skills or capability, or who are otherwise suitable. If this occurs, external recruitment will be initiated

34. If an employee chooses not to participate in the EOI and application process, they may nonetheless be offered redeployment to a suitable alternative role

35. Any staff member who is offered a suitable alternative position will not be entitled to redundancy compensation if they decline, subject to the terms of their employment agreement

36. However, on a case by case basis, those employees whose positions have been disestablished and believe that they should not be required to express interest in or be considered for a new role, may make a request for redundancy to the University’s HR Director. Such a request must be in writing outlining reasons for their request

37. The HR Director reserves the right to decline any application for redundancy on such grounds, taking into account the needs of the University, and the employee’s suitability for redeployment and available positions

Staff redeployed to new role

38. Where an employee is redeployed into the new role with the same FTE as the employee’s previous role at the time of redeployment, but is at a lower salary, an equalisation allowance will be paid to preserve the salary at the rate paid in the previous role at the time of redeployment for two years equivalent to the difference between the present salary and the new salary, abated by any subsequent salary increases

39. Upon agreement between the University and employee the employee may, within the first three months in the new position, terminate the arrangement, giving appropriate notice. The employee will be paid any severance payment calculated under this agreement exclusive of service spent in the redeployed position

40. Redeployment does not preclude an employee from a redundancy payment for all service if the position to which they have been redeployed also becomes surplus to University requirements

Managed attrition

41. The University may operate a policy of managed attrition either within a particular affected work situation or across the wider organisation. The intention of managed attrition is to minimise the number of employees affected by change


42. The notification period will be in accordance with the employee’s relevant employment agreement. After consultation with the employee, the University may place the employee on special paid leave at any time during the notice period where there are genuine operational reasons for doing so

Job search

43. Employees who have been given notice of redundancy will within this notice period be given reasonable time, on full pay, to make arrangements to seek new employment, including for example, help in the preparation of a CV, job training, counselling, financial management, or attendance at job interviews. The University will meet reasonable costs


44. Retraining involves a significant career move to another position in the University and some formal training. Salary and training expenses would not normally exceed the amount of the full severance payment

45. Before retraining commences agreement will be reached on the criteria for any bond conditions, if necessary, and for placement in the University (location, job type, salary range etc.)

Interim work

46. Staff who are not successful in securing a new role may be required to assist in transition to the new structure, and termination dates will be determined accordingly

Leave with pay

47. Leave with pay can be agreed to allow the employee to pursue other job options inside or outside the University for an agreed time period


48. Where all the provisions and options contained in the previous clauses have not placed an affected employee, then the unplaced employee is redundant

49. If redundancy is necessary, a severance payment will be paid according to the provisions of the employee’s employment agreement

50. Where a severance payment has been paid in part or in full, such payment will be reduced from any future severance payments to a redeployed/re-employed staff member in the event that their new position becomes redundant

51. Periods of approved leave without pay shall not be considered to break a period of service but will be discounted in calculating the number of years of service. Parental/carer leave, and leave taken due to disability and illness will be counted as unbroken service for the purposes of severance calculations

52. In the case of employees on parental leave the calculations shall be based on the salary rate at the time of taking leave


The following definitions apply:

Significant change means a change to an employee’s terms and conditions of employment that has a significant impact on the way they work. A significant change may include, but is not limited to, changes in workload, position responsibilities, FTE, substantive terms.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Content manager: Associate Director HR Advisory
Owner: Director, Human Resources
Approved by: Director, Human Resources
Date approved: 24 January 2017
Review Date: 01 March 2025