How will the assimilation process work?

    An assimilation matrix will be drawn up. This is simply a list which is drawn up and published at the end of a formal consultation, it is the process by which we match the old with the new job descriptions. The assimilation will detail which employee has been matched to which job(s) and the basis on which the match has been made. This will be completed by your Heads of Service, working with you during the consultation, and with support from HR. It is important that you ensure your current job description accurately reflects what you do (in broad terms, as opposed to every task) and let us know if you think it doesn’t. Jobs are matched by comparing the functions and duties of the old and new JDs and/or the time spent on specific tasks.  Where there is not an up to date job description, management must prepare and agree with their employees a list of the duties and responsibilities being undertaken as the matching exercise is based on duties.

    You have the right of appeal against inclusion/non-inclusion on the Assimilation List. Appeals must be submitted to the Head of Workforce Change within 10 working days of the notification of the decision and detail the reason(s) for the appeal using the Form at Appendix D of the Managing Organisational Change Procedure. Employees claiming a 65% match for assimilation or 50% match for a ring-fenced interview must show how they meet this.

    What does the restructure mean for existing fixed term posts?

    Any fixed term contracts will continue until their pre-agreed end date. I do think though, that now is the time to seek opportunities if you want to stay within Care and Support Commissioning beyond that point. This is simply because we’re unlikely to be undertaking any further recruitment in the months after the restructure is completed. Obviously, if you’re keen to move onto something else outside of the team; your contract will stand until that time (or September 2020, whichever is sooner), but I’d encourage you not to leave it to the last minute and clearly we’re keen to keep you if at all possible, within the bounds of the restructure.

    What does the restructure mean for existing honorariums or acting up allowances?

    Existing honorariums and/or acting up allowances will cease in the new structure. It is possible that further such arrangements will be put in place in due course, as and when they become necessary.

    In the Staff Consultation Report, in 5.1, it states “8 of the posts that are in-scope are currently not filled on a permanent basis”. What are these posts, will they become available, and will they be open for applications?

    The currently vacant posts are as follows:

    4 Commissioning Managers

    1 QA Officer

    1 Brokerage Manager

    1 Broker (.6FTE)

    1 Integrated Offender Management Female Pathway Coordinator (This post has been vacant for some time)

    In some instances these posts have been vacant for a while, some have temporary or fixed term members of staff working in them pending this restructure, and others have been held entirely vacant. Those temporary and fixed term staff are not directly affected by the restructure and will not have first claims to posts. With the exceptions of the Broker and QA Officer, these posts are being deleted as part of the restructure and therefore will not become available. We are using the funding from the entire existing structure (including vacant posts) to fund the proposed structure. The Broker and QA Officer JDs are available on One Borough Voice

    Why is there a disparity in the grades of the Lead Commissioners?

    We have differentiated the grades of the lead commissioners (between PO7 and PO8) in order to account for those that will have oversight of full Commissioning Mandates, Improvement Programmes and areas of significant strategic growth. The JDs have yet to be formally evaluated and it is possible that these grades could change, as a result of the consultation and/or the JD evaluation.

    Why is there no specialism in Commissioning Managers?

    Whilst we are keen to develop a ‘pool’ or ‘bank’ of flexible Commissioning Managers to nimbly support commissioning priorities, we are not envisaging that existing expertise and specialisms are lost entirely; it is inevitable and sensible that those specialisms should be drawn on, spread and developed. However, we hope that this approach will enable specialist expertise to be applied across commissioning priorities and for individuals to develop further knowledge and experience across a range of portfolios, offering substantial opportunity for growth and development.

    How will the matrix management arrangements for Commissioning Managers work?

    We’re not sure yet. This is one of the areas in which we would appreciate your feedback and help to develop our plans. Every member of staff will have a single line manager, who will be responsible for all HR requests and pastoral care. Lead Commissioners managing Commissioning Managers will also be responsible for helping them to negotiate their workplans, develop their skills and manage their capacity. It will be up to Lead Commissioners and Heads of Service to work together to negotiate resources and ensure the commissioning priorities are appropriately supported, whilst developing our staff and ensuring they have an appropriate degree of choice and control over their work plans.

    Will interview training be available for staff during the restructure?

    Yes. We are working with HR at the moment to arrange this. If you have a specific request, please talk to your Heads of Service and we will do our best to accommodate this. There is a also a coaching offer available through the Employee Assistance Programme.

    Would there be a requirement to do out of borough QA work for Children’s provision?

      Yes. Children are placed in and out of borough and QA Officers would need to be ready to undertake a range of visits, at the discretion of the Provider Assurance Manager. The majority of children are placed in the south east, but there are a small number of children and young people placed  a substantial distance from Barking and Dagenham. Expenses for travel or any overnight stays will of course be paid.

    How many providers across Children’s will QA be working with?

      There are currently 102 residential, semi-independent and supported accommodation providers on our children’s placements frameworks, operating around 400 homes. We are using just under half of these and the new QA service will be responsible for working with those in use. These will not all necessarily need regular visits, but processes will need to be developed to monitor them regardless.

    Are these proposals a done deal?

    No, we want to make sure the proposals are viable and that every member of staff affected by the restructure has an opportunity to contribute further to the thinking and shape the new structures.

    Will I have to apply for my job?

    See the restructure and redundancy procedure, under “assimilation process”.  Liaise with HR business partner Siobhan Davies for further information. 


    Will I be able to apply for voluntary redundancy?

    See the restructure and redundancy procedure,  under “redundancy process”.  Liaise with HR business partner Siobhan Davies for further information.