Buy Out of Hours Procedure

Buy Out of Hours Procedure


This procedure is applicable to all employees of Cheshire East except for school based employees. There are specific policies for schools employees which can be accessed via the Schools Intranet Site ( link below ).


To outline the procedure to be used where there is a business/organisational need to buy out a proportion of an employee’s hours, following a re-organisation, downsizing or as an alternative to redundancy.


This procedure applies in situations where:

• An employee’s work has diminished
• The work of a group of employees has diminished or ceased
• Redundancy would otherwise apply

The procedure should be used as a last resort after or alongside the Council’s Redeployment Procedure.

This procedure does not apply to voluntary reductions in hours.

This procedure will not apply in situations where an employee has two or more separate jobs with the Council; where as a result of a re-organisation or downsizing one of these jobs is deleted, but as a result of a successful redeployment exercise the employee is no worse off financially then they would have been in their previous jobs.

The formula used to calculate the buy out payment will be based on the statutory redundancy scheme for the hours lost, using contractual base pay.
NB: Where the reduction in hours is mutually agreed the number of weeks applicable (as determined by the Statutory Redundancy Scheme) will be multiplied by 1.5. Where the employee is not willing to accept the reduction in hours, an assessment of the circumstances of the case must be made, in consultation with Human Resources, to ensure that the proposed reduction is reasonable and to determine the alternative solutions.

This procedure will be applied to an employee’s substantive (contractual) hours or additional temporary hours where these have been worked for a period of more than 2 years.

The application of this buy out procedure will not prevent an employee from applying for other jobs within the council or increasing their hours at a later date where the circumstances allow.


Where it has been identified that there is a need to buy out a proportion of an employees hours, the payment should be calculated according to the following formula:

 1. Calculate the hourly rate using contractual base pay relating to the employee’s substantive position:

Contractual Base pay (pro rata if part time) divided by 365, multiply by 7 and divide by the contractual hours of the substantive position, e.g.

Contractual Base pay = £19126
Employee works 37 hours

£19126 divided by 365 multiply by 7, divide by 37 = £9.91. This is the hourly rate

In the same circumstances where the employee works 26 hours

Contractual Base pay = £13439 (pro rata to full time pay of £19126)

£13439 divided by 365, multiply by 7, divide by 26 = £9.91 hourly rate.

 2. Calculate the number of weeks pay using the Statutory Redundancy Calculator (see Appendix 1)

This is calculated according to the employee’s age and number of years service, see the attached chart

Number of weeks, multiplied by 1.5, multiplied by number of hours lost, multiplied by the hourly rate

e.g. 20 weeks x 1.5 x10 hours lost x £9.91 = £2973 buy out payment

In this example the employee is 51 years of age with 15 years service.

Once the buy out payment has been calculated the Buy Out of Hours Form needs to be completed in consultation with the departmental Finance Manager who will endorse the costs and budgetary implications. The form is available from Human Resources who will advise on its completion. The completed form must be approved by the Director or Head of Service and should then be submitted for consideration by the Staffing Officer Panel.

Once the proposal has been approved the manager should invite the employee to a meeting to discuss the decision. They should be advised that they may be represented by their trade union or a work colleague employed by the Council.

The changes to working arrangements and buy out arrangement must be confirmed in writing to the employee and notification of a change of contractual details must be completed and sent to Shared Services (payroll).

Cheshire East Council will ensure that, when implementing the Buy Out Procedure no employee will be disadvantaged on the basis of their gender or transgender, marital status  or civil partnership, racial group, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age, disability,  pregnancy or maternity, social or economic status or caring responsibility.  

This means that the Procedure may need to be adjusted to cater for the specific needs of an individual including the provision of information in alternative formats where necessary.  


This procedure will be reviewed in light of operating experience.

Prepared by: HR Policy and Strategy Team
Date : 21 April 2011
Revisions and reasons:
Review Date:


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