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Match people only to same-grade roles during organisational transformation?

Match people only to same-grade roles during organisational transformation?

Posted: 4th May 2021

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      Hi Everyone. I’m interested to know what approach people take when matching people to roles as part of an organisational transformation. In the NHS it is common to match people only to same-grade roles. Matching people to higher grade roles is generally not allowed as part of the process. However, it has come to light that, in cases where people’s roles have grown (since their role was last re-graded or since they joined), this could lead to discrimination which then disengages people or causes an unintended loss of talent. This is a particular concern in the case of women – where research shows a high percentage can be downwardly occupationally mobile (i.e. take on a lower grade role) following a career break but they retain the ability (and often the appetite) to take on more than their original role. It is possible for someone to end up doing a role that turns out to be more than a 70% match to a higher graded role at the time of transformation.
      What approach do other organisations take when matching people to roles during transformations? Is a “no matching to higher graded roles” policy applied? And if you do allow matching to higher grade roles for the purpose of the 70% test, does this work just the same as matching same-grade roles or do you have any other aspects of process in place?

      I’m really keen to learn what practices are in place elsewhere.

      Many thanks in anticipation.


        Hi – interesting question.  We follow the ACAS guide which refers to suitable alternative employment and same terms and conditions of employment and  similar nature of work.   I think it may be a wider answer such as continuously assessing fair pay for the work being done as roles will always continue to evolve.  If you match to a high band then you could also have the issue of unfair/discriminatory practice as everybody else may see those roles as substantially different/promotion, so again you could be discriminating.  I think it depends on the size of your organisation, numbers impacted etc.  You may be able to take a pragmatic approach making a fair and legally compliant decision based on the overall circumstances.  But in the avoidance of doubt, it may be best to follow the acas code of practice.


          Thanks Suzanna.  So, just to be clear, when you look at jobs that might have a 70% or more match you don’t look at higher banded roles when doing this assessment?

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