Running battles on the governance front line 3

September 17, 2009

The letter from a group of 185 academics concerned about the way "voluntary" redundancies appear to be "engineered" raises an important point (Letters, 10 September). In the voluntary casework I do, I have noticed an increasing number of similar cases recently.

One has sympathy for the dire straits in which higher education institutions find themselves in financially uncertain times. However, human resources departments should not forget that academic and academic-related staff in pre-1992 universities still enjoy the protection of the Model Statute created under Section 202 of the Education Reform Act 1988.

Many institutions have "updated" its provisions and some have sought to create a simpler and speedier route to redundancy than it intended, especially in the case of academic-related staff. But it is still in place, barring the path to the arbitrary removal of protected employees in "managerial interests".

It would be timely to see a Times Higher Education review of prevailing redundancy practices that undermine Model Statute protections.

G.R. Evans, Oxford.

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