Promoting partnership working in the NHS

Green Route - Your HR policies and practices

Staff delivering public services in local government can expect to work for a high quality employer. That is, an employer who provides a good working environment for their staff, an employer who takes the wellbeing of individuals seriously and an employer people choose to work for and stay with.

One way of ensuring a high quality workplace is by having good HR policies and practices. These may include policies and practices developed by your employer in partnership with local trade union representatives, which have an effect on your employment. Although developed locally, they are often based on national initiatives and guidance such as those provided by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). Areas covered by such policies include equality and diversity, health, wellbeing and safety, work life balance and flexible working, discipline and grievance, raising concerns and whistleblowing and recruitment and promotion. Your new employer will provide you with information on their policies and practices.

Most local authorities have their own whistleblowing policies in place which they should refresh when necessary, to ensure they are effective.

How will my transfer affect me?

If you leave direct NHS employment to join another organisation providing health care services to the NHS, you will not necessarily continue with exactly the same HR policies and practices you had with your former employer, unless they form part of your existing contractual terms and conditions of employment. You may wish to discuss with your HR or trade union representative in advance of your transfer to confirm which policies and practices will be transferring.

Your new employer may take some or all of your former employer’s policies and practices and amend these to reflect the structure and size of the new organisation. Alternatively, they may decide to develop a new set of policies and practices or, they may already have a set of existing policies and practices. These decisions should be subject to discussion with the trade union representatives.

Contractual terms and conditions of employment are protected in a TUPE transfer except in very exceptional circumstances. They should also be protected in a transfer where TUPE does not apply but the principles of TUPE are followed in accordance with the COSOP. If you are unsure what is included as part of your contract of employment you should speak to your HR department and/or trade union representative.

Regardless of who your new employer is following transfer, you can expect the HR policies and practices of your new employing organisation to not only meet the requirements of employment and discrimination law but also, to reflect a commitment to the provision of a high quality workplace and to being a good employer, as stated in the NHS Constitution and handbook. Your existing employer should work closely with you, your trade union representatives and your new employer to achieve this.

Resource Library

Visit our resource library web page for more advice on policies, practices and supporting documents that may apply to you when you transfer.