Fourth Guiding Principle – Filling New Posts in New Organisations

(Accepted with commentary by N.I. Executive on 17/01/08)


This Guiding Principle deals with issues such as order of consideration for vacancy filling, “clearing houses” and “at risk” groups of staff.

Guiding Principle/Recommendations

After the establishment of a new organisation created as a result of RPA, the Public Service Commission recommends that, where an organisation is considering taking action which may increase the risk of redundancy for staff, it should seek to fill vacancies and new or substantially new posts in the following order of consideration:

  • By the use of a mechanism or competition internal to the new organisation with the objective of dealing in the first instance with staff who have been identified as being at a clearly identified risk of compulsory redundancy.
  • By targeting “at risk” staff in that sector as a whole.
  • BY targeting “at risk” staff across all the sectors in the RPA Affected Group.
  • By way of open competition.

A “clearing house” mechanism may be used to enable employers to collaborate in filling vacancies and new or substantially new posts across the sectors thereby ensuring that “at risk” staff have an opportunity to apply for positions/vacancies as might arise.

The Commission recognises that there will be instances when it will be necessary to fill a post in a new organisation which does not yet exist in law.  In such instances, the Commission recommends that the Executive accepts that the principles of fairness, equality and consistency should apply.  The Commission further recommends that the authority responsible for filling such posts considers the use of (ii) and (iii) above in advance of the use of (iv) above.

The Commission expects that, in keeping with good practice and having regard to statutory obligations, employers would consult with the relevant trade unions and staff representatives on the filling of vacancies and new or substantially new posts.

Associated Recommendations

  • The Commission also recommends that
  • In the consultation with trade unions and employers, the Executive should publish an updated list of public sector organisations deemed to be affected by the direct rule administration’s announcements and recent decisions taken by the Executive.
  • Employers should identify staff who are at a clearly identified risk of compulsory redundancy and should advise staff whether they are, or are not, in the “at risk” group.  Should an individual consider themselves to be “at risk” they should be entitled to a response from their employer clarifying the position.  Employers should consult with Trade Unions and staff representatives on the designation of “at risk” staff.
  • Employers should take all reasonable steps, both pre and post transfer, to manage or accommodate surplus staff thereby meeting or exceeding their statutory obligations.
  • When considering the methods available for filling a vacancy or a new post and when determining the composition of the selection pool employers should take account of employment law and equality considerations.
  • New organisations apply this Guiding Principle until a minimum of 12 months after their establishment or for a minimum of 12 months after the subsequent absorption of new functions into the new organisations.

Further Guidance/Information

The Following links are recommended:



A - Z of Employment

A - Z of Employment

Employment Questions and Answers

Employment Questions and Answers



Labour Market Research and Information

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