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Organisational Change Policy and Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University’, ‘CDU’) highly values its employees and is committed to the retention and ongoing development of current employees, including affording them security of employment.

(2) Clause 60 and 61 of the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 (the Agreement) Security of Employment, Consultation and the Introduction of Change details the measures to be followed when a process of organisational change is required, including consultation and the introduction of change.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) The purpose of this policy and procedure is to detail the process that has been agreed to by the University and Unions to undergo workplace change and related arrangements, in accordance with the Agreement.

(4) This document also outlines the employee consultation process and management of change, and should be read in conjunction with the Redeployment Procedure and the Redundancy Procedure.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This policy and procedure apply to all employees of the University covered by the Agreement.

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Section 4 - Policy


(6) The organisation of the University must support the achievement of its strategic goals by having structures that ensure the alignment of resources to core functions of the University. 

(7) In the instance of a process of major change, the University will explore all available options to mitigate the effect of workforce reductions. When practical, any workforce reduction would initially occur through natural attrition and voluntary measures. 

(8) When a process of major change is required, the University will initially notify and consult with employees, Unions and any nominated representatives and are committed to having open discussions with these groups throughout the process. For the purposes of this document, “employees and their representatives” include both Unions and any other representatives that the employee/s wish to be involved in the process. 

(9) Consultation will prioritise measures to reduce job loss and mitigation of associated adverse effects of the proposed change. 

(10) At all times, the University supports the employee’s right to chosen representation.

(11) At all times throughout this process, the University will continue to consult with and support those employees that are affected during the implementation of significant workplace change. 

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Section 5 - Procedure


(12) The University will provide a written proposal to employees and their representatives at least 2 days before any consultation meetings. This document will be in accordance with the Agreement and shall include:

  1. The nature and rationale of the proposal.
  2. Any measures that will be taken in order to mitigate outcomes such as training and redeployment.
  3. Any expected outcomes including expected benefits and/or disadvantages.
  4. Any steps taken to counteract negative work health and safety issues.
  5. Financial implications.
  6. An expected timing of the process, including a detailed timeframe for those evaluating the change.
  7. The details of any implications expected for employees including changes to:
    1. Duties,
    2. Position profiles,
    3. Number of employees,
    4. Workload; and
    5. Work environment.
  8. Measures for assessing and reporting on the progress of the change as it eventuates.


(13) The University will meet and engage with employees and their representatives to discuss the proposed major change and consider any potential alternative proposals. CDU will officially provide copies of the draft change proposal to allow ample time for consideration prior to the meeting.

(14) Following this, employees and their representatives will have the opportunity to submit feedback, raise any questions or issues and request individual meetings related to the proposed change. All feedback is required to be in writing. The consultation will not normally be less than 2 weeks.

(15) The University then allows a minimum of 1 working week to consider all feedback from relevant stakeholders and to finalise the final change plan. All information is then collated into the Final Change Proposal. This proposal will detail every impact to each employee and their position.

(16) Employees and their representatives will be provided with the Final Change Proposal within 2 working days of being finalised. This will be both through email and scheduled meetings, to discuss the way ahead and implementation.

(17) The University will meet individually with those employees directly affected to ensure they are aware of the details of the proposal and how this will directly affect them. 

Mapping process

(18) If required, the University will commence the process of mapping employees to positions as set out in the new structure. This process will usually occur over a 2 week period.

Finalisation of change process

(19) Formal correspondence will be prepared for each employee to confirm the process and anticipated outcomes as it will apply to them and will include details such as:

  1. New position descriptions.
  2. Salary details.
  3. Any contractual changes including redeployment or redundancy.

(20) This correspondence is to be provided to the employees within 1 to 4 weeks of being finalised.

(21) To finalise the change process, the University will:

  1. Email the final announcement confirming the change.
  2. Commence operating in line with the new structure.
  3. Support employees as they transition to the new arrangements or as the process applies to them (e.g. redeployment or redundancy).


(22) The University may at times discuss, explore and plan major and minor organisational change in confidence with employees and their representatives with the aim of achieving a strategic or tactical target that benefits the organisation.

(23) All involved parties may request that consultation be in confidence. Any reasonable request will be considered.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(24) Definitions of key terms can be found in the CDU Glossary.

(25) Redeployee – An employee who would otherwise be made redundant should suitable alternative employment not become available.

(26) Redeployment –  As an alternative to redundancy, an employee may be redeployed to another position within the organisation.

(27) Redundancy - Where the University deems a position is no longer required. This would occur where:

  1. There is the permanent abolition of a substantial work function or operation (such as the abolition of a discipline) or closure of a campus, which results in the work no longer being required to be performed by anyone; or
  2. There is an insufficiency of work in a particular work unit or function and there is a surplus of employees who perform that work.
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Section 7 - Non-Compliance

(28) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(29) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Employees.

(30) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.