Workers' Change of Appointment

Change of appointment of an employee or a group of identified workers requires cautious and well-informed decision making.

(Cases of retrenchment and resignation are not included here)

Decision on change of appointment is called for in situations as stated below.

  1. Employee is found not able to perform given tasks and training is not helping much in improving his or her performance.
  2. When your organization decides to do away with certain job or jobs.
  3. When employees are redeployed to hold a different job as the result of corporate expansion, mergers, joint ventures and so on.
  4. The organization is closing a certain operational activity, a business sector, or under threat of closure due to financial mismanagement, or of similar instances.
  5. Some activities have become illegal due to new legislation.
  6. The organization is relocating its business location, either within the same country or to another country.
  7. Employees request change in their appointment. (Refer to your transfer policy.)

Change of appointment usually involves change of position and or terms and conditions of employment. This is a decision that can cause fear, apprehension and stress not only to the affected worker but other employees as well.

This calls for deep reflection and proper planning to minimize or eliminate the negative impacts of such decisions.

Understand every important aspect of the matter before making a plan and proceeding further.

Also consider the following:
  1. What was the former position and what were the terms and conditions of employment?
  2. What is the new position and what are the terms and conditions of employment?
  3. Does the original appointment provide for any change to the appointment, transfer to a different job and or place?
  4. Does the change involve change of functions only? Or includes change of position
  5. Is the new position at an equivalent level to the former position even if the job titles differ? If so, does it mean reassignment to a new job?
  6. What was the intention behind the decision to change the appointment?
  7. What decision can management take to rectify any discrepancy in the terms and conditions with respect to equivalent positions?
  8. Is it possible to rectify problems without causing injustice to the employee?
  9. If the change becomes too problematic, can management reinstate the employee to the former position?
  10. In the case of an employee requesting for change to his or her appointment, is it justified?
  11. Have you made everything very clear to affected employees?

Issue letter in cases of change of appointment

In cases where there is change in position and or grade, organizations need to issue new appointment letters to the employees concerned.

This means that a new appointment letter is issued if an employee is promoted or downgraded.

Where there is no change in position or grade, and in cases not involving promotion or downgrading, it is not necessary to issue new appointment letters. A new appointment letter is also not necessary in any case of change in job title only. An addendum is used, instead.

It is vital to maintain the communication channel open and to take prompt decision and action on any problem that arise. Good intentions will come to nothing without effective communication.

Appointment change is one of the employment issues that can rock your organization. Matters may not only get out of hand but may open your organization to litigation.

Discuss with employees union in cases of unionized employees.

Ensure that the plan is done properly.

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