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Thread: "slotting in"

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  1. #1
    zzz's Avatar

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    Default "slotting in"

    Hi
    I understand when a public sector org is being restructured, if a new role is created and is "significantly the same" as an existing role then the existing person in the old post just "slots into" the newly created role. But is this slotting rule based on the law or is it just an organisations employment policy?

    Things are rarely so straight forward.
    For example a "Director of Estates Management, DEM" and a (lower level) "Assistant Director of Estates Projects and Estates Reporting, ADEPR" are being combined into one single role which covers all areas of Estates activities. A new super role will be created, Director of Estates DE. Makes sense.

    For the sake of the example lets say that the DEM role carries out activities 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10. Lets also say that the ADEPR carries out activities 1,2,3. The new DE would be expected to carry out activities 1 through to 10. So the two original roles may at some point (6 months hence) be made redundant. Or worse the loser from the contest will have to stay on in a diminished role and support the winner.

    The DEM would argue that her role is at least 80% of the new role and so there should not be a contest.
    The key to this matter is that the ADEPR is more popular than the DEM with the executive. The DEM would argue it should not be a popularity contest and that if her old role is substantially the same as the new role there shouldn't be a contest. The DEM should just slot into the new DE role.

    The new team will be significantly smaller than the team previously managed by the the "DEM" but will be significantly bigger than the team previously managed by the "ADEPR". Needless to say the ADEPR and DEM do not get along and the friction is building.
    The job description of the DEM means the DEM does not carry out work under areas 1 and 2 in this organisation but has extensive experience of doing work items 1 and 2 in previous roles.
    The job description of the ADEPR means the ADEPR does not currently carry out items 4 to10 but they did previously do some of the work in a lower capacity in a previous more junior role within the same org.

    What could the DEM do to reinforce her claim for slotting in, to ensure there is no contest for the role in the first place?
    Ta

  2. #2
    Ula's Avatar

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    Default Re: "slotting in"

    As I understand it "slotting in” is not a rule of law but a common process in the public sector, whereby appropriate employees are identified to fill new roles in a reorganised structure without undergoing competitive application or selection.

    It may be appropriate, for example, for posts to be filled by a simple slotting-in process where there are the same number of posts in the new structure and these posts remain wholly or largely unchanged to the roles that the employees potentially at risk were carrying out. However, "slotting in" is not consider to be appropriate where there is more than one employee who is eligible for the new role.

    In this case it could be argued that both DEM and ADEPR posts are eligible for consideration of the newly created DE role and if the public sector body concerned wants to ensure fairness of process then they may require that a competitive selection exercise is undertaken.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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  3. #3
    zzz's Avatar

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    Default Re: "slotting in"

    Hi Ula
    Thanks for your comments.
    I suppose the question is what is the threshold at which other candidates are considered, and the threshold for slotting in?
    Eg if the new role consists of tasks 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
    and if candidate A has items 2 to 10 in their JD, then does that 90% role similarity constitute a "slot" and therefore candidate A is justified in suggesting there should not be a competitive process.

    If candidate B (the more popular candidate) has tasks 1 and 2 in their current JD then at just 20% similarity to the new role how could candidate B be included in the compressive process?

    What % would there need to be to justify a competitive process?

    Candidate A has had good performance reviews over the past 4 years in post but has a low profile in the organisation and is not very popular. Candidate B is technically weaker and less able to do the new job, but is more popular. If the CEO had wanted to she could have just appointed candidate A to the new post, but the fact this hasn't happened suggests they want the more popular candidate B to get the new role and leapfrog candidate A. This seriously undermines candidate As position and smells of constructive dismissal.

    Could candidate A have a case for constructive dismissal?

  4. #4
    Ula's Avatar

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    Default Re: "slotting in"

    I think this may come down to whether the public sector concerned feels that both candidates are eligible to do the new role. Eligibility is the key factor rather than someone does tasks 4-10 of the new role and the other person does tasks 1-4 but both have varying experiences of the other "tasks".

    However, from what you have said at this stage nothing precludes the current DEM post holder stating their case that this should not be a competitive selection process.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


    You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

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