This guide provides managers and employees with guidance relating to work trials, how to support these and their roles and responsibilities within this process.

  1. Table of contents

Redeployment work trials

A redeployment work trial will last for 4 weeks although this may be extended where the recruiting manager feels that this will not allow for a reasonable period of assessment.

During the trial period, the redeployee will remain on the grade and terms and conditions of their substantive contract of employment, funded by their original Service.

A redeployee will not be expected to work more than their contracted hours during a work trial, however, in cases where a redeployee is moving into a post with more hours, this can be discussed with the employee if they wish to agree to the additional hours. The substantive manager and recruiting manager will need to agree who will pay for additional hours. Any additional hours worked will be paid for at the rate of the new post. The HR Reward team can support these discussions.

If a redeployee is offered a work trial on less contracted hours, they should discuss this with their substantive manager to agree how the balance of hours will be managed. For example, they may agree an alternative where the balance of hours can be worked on a temporary basis or whether a reduction in contracted hours can be agreed for the duration of the work trial. The HR Reward team can support these discussions.

Redeployees will be discouraged from taking periods of annual leave during a work trial unless accrued leave is being used to facilitate a phased return to work.

During the trial period the recruiting manager should:

  • Agree a work plan with the redeployee
  • Carry out appropriate induction
  • Discuss/review progress regularly
  • Identify development needs and provide training

During the trial period if a redeployee becomes unfit, they should follow normal sickness absence procedures and notify both the substantive manager and the recruiting manager. If the absence continues beyond 2 weeks, the work trial will immediately cease and, where appropriate, the redeployee will be referred to Occupational Health.

Details of the work trial arrangements will be made in writing to the employee. HR Helpdesk will provide a template letter to the hiring manager.

Completion of a work trial

On the completion of a work trial, a review meeting will be arranged with the redeployee and recruiting manager to feed back on the trial and identify any strengths, areas for development and training gaps. The employee may have a representative present at this meeting if they wish. Details of any discussion will be followed up in writing.

Successful redeployment work trial

Where it is considered that a redeployee meets or is close to meeting the minimum standards required of the post, then they should be offered the post.

There will be no personal pay protection where the new post is graded lower than the substantive post, but placing within the new grade will be at a level to minimise any difference. Redeployees accepting a lower graded post or lower hours should be made aware of the pension implications. In some situations a Certificate of Protection of Pension Benefits can be requested, however advice should be sought from the Pensions team on this.

A formal offer of employment will be made by the recruiting manager on the new terms and conditions of the post using HR Forms Plus New Appointment Form.

The recruiting manager should complete the Redeployment checklist:

Redeployment checklist

The recruiting manager should also contact the HR Helpdesk to confirm an offer is being made so that the redeployment register can be updated. HR will advise the substantive manager to ensure the previous contract is terminated and ensure there are no breaks in the employee's service.

Redeployment to a temporary post

Any permanent employee who is redeployed to a temporary post will retain their right to permanent employment with Falkirk Council, but will have no right to return to their substantive post. This must be included in the offer of any new post.

In these circumstances, the manager of the temporary post will have management responsibility for the employee and will submit a further request for redeployment when required. Any further period of redeployment will be for a maximum of 12 weeks before the end of the temporary contract. This does not apply where the employee was temporarily redeployed on health grounds to facilitate a return to their substantive role.

Extended work trial

If there are doubts about the capability of the redeployee to carry out the duties of the post, then an extension to the trial period may be agreed, to allow for a further assessment to be made.

This should be considered no later than 3 weeks into the work trial to allow discussions to take place with the substantive service regarding continued payment of the work trial beyond the 4 week period or whether this will need to be picked up by the recruiting service.

If an extension is agreed, the recruiting manager should contact HR Helpdesk to advise they wish to extend the work trial so this can be recorded on the Redeployment register. Any extension to the work trial will be confirmed in writing to the employee.

Unsuccessful work trial

In cases where the redeployee clearly does not meet the minimum standards required of the post despite appropriate support, training and reasonable adjustments, then the trial will be considered to have been unsuccessful. The recruiting manager will discuss this with the employee and they should also ensure they notify the HR Helpdesk/HR Reward team.

Where the employee meets the minimum standards required of the post, but decides against accepting a job offer, the case will either be referred back to the substantive line manager for consideration and where relevant, progressed to an appropriate hearing. Alternatively, if there is still time left within the period of redeployment, a further search for a suitable alternative post will be carried out.

HR Helpdesk will notify the substantive manager of the outcome of the work trial and write to the employee to confirm the next steps of the process.