Procedure for Re-evaluations and Appeals

Forms:

Guidance:


1. Introduction – evaluation of an existing role

Some Professional Services roles may change over time depending on operational requirements and/or restructures, and managers are advised to contact their HR Manager/Officer for guidance on whether changes to job descriptions are substantive in order to warrant a re-evaluation. Following discussion with HR, where the relevant Divisional Director/Faculty or School Manager, the line manager and the member of staff agree that a role has changed significantly, they will need to revise the job description, agree the date at which it becomes applicable, and submit it for re-evaluation

Whilst some roles will evolve over time, it is the case that not all will undergo sufficient change to warrant a re-evaluation. The re-evaluation and appeals mechanisms set out below aim to provide a consistent, transparent and equitable procedure for assessing substantive and material changes to existing roles, using the agreed job evaluation process. 

This procedure does not apply to roles on the academic pathways, where alternative promotion and progression arrangements are established.

Staff have the right to appeal against the outcome of their re-evaluation, and to this end the University has an agreed Appeals policy and process

Appeals will be heard by a job evaluation panel who will consider the case and make a decision as to whether the appeal should be upheld or not.  The decision of the Appeal panel is final. 

2. Deciding whether job evaluation is required and approval

3. Writing the Job Description

For re-evaluations in the Professional and Administrative family, it is essential that the job description is completed with reference to  the Professional and Administrative Grade Descriptors,which provide  example responsibility statements by grade. 

For further information on completing the job description template, refer to the Job Description Guidance.

4. Submitting the Job Description to HR

In addition to writing the job description it is necessary to complete the cover sheet, including a short summary of the changes/additional responsibilities to the role.  Exceptionally, the School/Division may make a case (giving full reasons) at the point of submission of the re-evaluation seeking limited backdating.  The Head of HR Operation’s decision on the effective date will be final.

The completed job description and cover sheet should be emailed to the relevant Human Resources Manager/Officer who will ensure that the job description template has been completed appropriately, reviewing with the School/Division as necessary, and will consider whether the anticipated grade can be met, though this is not something that can be assured.

5. Submitting the Job Description to the Reward Team

The Human Resources Manager/Officer will send the job description to the Reward Team, for submission to the next available UBJES panel.

UBJES panels currently take place every week, on either a Wednesday or Thursday. The deadline for the Human Resources Manager/Officer to submit a job description is seven working days before the panel is due to take place (for example by Tuesday of the week before the panel, if it is taking place on a Thursday).  If volumes are high, the job description will go to the next available panel.

Where it has been deemed necessary by the HR Manager/Officer, a Role Expert from the School/Division may be invited to the panel, to help answer any contextual questions. The input of a Role Expert is particularly helpful where the work is of a specialist nature.

6. Panel meeting(s)

The panel will either agree an outcome, or they may refer the job description back to the School/Division for some more information.  The re-evaluation panel will evaluate the revised job description in its own right.  The re-evaluation result may therefore be higher, the same, or lower than any earlier job evaluation result.

Following on from the panel’s decision, a quality review will take place (usually a week later) by a technical adviser trained in the UBJES scheme. At this stage, the outcome will be one of the following:

- Endorsement of the panel’s score for the role (this is the most common outcome)

- Role to be sent to an additional and final panel (known as the quality assurance panel) and that panel will reach a final decision.

- Referral of the job description back to the School/Division with questions. 

If the decision is an outcome on Grade M, a Senior Professional Services panel will then be convened to determine the Grade M Range, using the UBJES methodology. 

7. Notification

On average, it takes 23 working days from when HR send the role to the Reward team in HR to when the outcome for the role is notified.

When the role has been evaluated, the Reward Team will notify the Human Resources Manager / Officer of the grade by email.

The Human Resources Manager / Officer will then notify the outcome, including any change to salary to the appropriate manager and the individual will be notified.    

If the grade for the role is different to the manager’s anticipated grade, Human Resources can provide additional information on the grade outcome. 

Appeals policy and process

1. Deciding whether to submit an appeal

In some instances, an employee will not be happy with the outcome of the re-evaluation, and in such cases following full discussion with the appropriate manager, an employee may wish to submit an appeal.  In order to assist with deciding whether it is appropriate to submit an appeal against the outcome of the re-evaluation, Human Resources can provide further information on the re-evaluation grade outcome. 

For an appeal to be heard, one or more of the following conditions must be met:

  1. There appears to have been a non-trivial flaw in the re-evaluation process; and/or
  2. The job holder has reasonable grounds for arguing that a particular area of his or her new job description has been incorrectly scored according to the UBJES scheme; or
  3. The job compares directly with another job that has a different evaluation*

When considering whether to submit an appeal, managers and staff should consider the following:

For an appeal to be considered under either scenario, it must be submitted within 4 weeks of the date of the re-evaluation outcome letter from Human Resources. 

Please note that this category of appeal should only be used where a member of staff believes that their role is directly comparable with or very similar to another role, and therefore feel that their role should be at the same grade as that role.  For a role to be deemed a direct comparator to another role, it would need to be carrying out a very similar set of responsibilities and the role-holder would be required to possess a very similar level of skills, qualifications and experience to the requirements for the comparator role. 

Some appeals may arise where staff members have been re-evaluated by use of a generic job description.  An appeal against the grade of a generic role will only be considered where at least 80% of existing role-holders have signed the appeal submission.

2. Writing the Appeal

When writing an appeal, managers and staff should ensure that:

3. Re-submitting the Job Description to HR

The completed appeal form should be emailed to the relevant Faculty Human Resources Manager/Officer who will ensure that the Appeal form has been completed appropriately.

4. Submitting the job description to the Reward Team

The Human Resources Manager/Officer will send the Appeal form to the Reward Team, who will send it to the next available UBJES panel.

5. Panel meeting

Having agreed that the appeal has been properly brought, the Appeal Panel will consider the grounds put forward in the written appeal in light of the job description, the panel(s) written rationale for their scoring decision, and any other relevant information.  A Role Expert may attend the panel to provide clarification about the role.

In circumstances where the Panel considers there is the need for further clarification of elements of the role or the grounds for appeal to aid their decision making, they may obtain further information as required. 

In relation to the three grounds for appeal, the possible outcomes are:

  1. Non-trivial flaw in the process – the Appeal Panel confirm that there has not been a non-trivial flaw and therefore reject the appeal, or confirm that there has been a non-trivial flaw,and will need to agree next steps depending on the nature of the flaw in the process.The Panel’s decision will be final;
  2. The role has been incorrectly scored according to the UBJES scheme – the Appeal Panel confirm that the role has been correctly scored and reject the appeal, or confirm that the job has been incorrectly scored in respect of the appeal, and record a new score. The Panel’s decision will be final.
  3. Direct comparator with another role – the Appeal Panel will determine whether the role is an appropriate comparator. Where the role is not deemed comparable the appeal will be rejected. Where the Panel deems it is comparable, the score of the comparator role will be assigned to the appellant.  The Panel’s decision will be final.

Should the Appeals Panel reach the conclusion that the job of the appellant, or where relevant of a comparator, has been scored too high such that the score is clearly outside the bounds of what might be reasonable, the appellant’s score will remain unchanged by the panel, but the appropriate Human Resources Manager/Officer will be informed.  It will be the HR Manager/Officer’s responsibility to discuss the case with the appellant/comparator role-holder and their line manager (and a representative of a trade union or other competent person, if the appellant/comparator role-holder so wishes) and make sure that the job description template accurately reflects the role in question.  Once revised as appropriate, the Job Description Template will be sent on to a re-evaluation panel, where it will be treated as any other request for re-evaluation.  There is a right to appeal from all re-evaluation panels.

Relationship to the Staff Grievance Procedure

The Board of Trustees has prescribed the Appeals procedure in relation to appeals against decisions arising from the job evaluation process, and there will therefore be no other route or right of appeal against individual job evaluation outcomes.

6. Notification

The results of the Appeal Panel, including any changes to salary (where applicable), will be provided to members of staff by letter from Human Resources, sent via an appropriate manager.

Implementation of change in grade

Any change in salary arising from a re-evaluation or from a subsequent appeal will be backdated to the date of receipt of the re-evaluation.  Exceptionally, the School/Division may make a case (giving full reasons) at the point of submission of the re-evaluation seeking limited backdating.  The Head of HR Operation’s decision on the effective date will be final.