Fair Selection for Redundancy

This page follows on from our Redundancy Advice page and provides some details on an employee’s right to a fair selection in a redundancy process.

In some redundancy situations, selection for redundancy will not take place because all of the affected employees are made redundant. This might happen where a business closes down entirely. However, where there is to be selection for redundancy, employees  are entitled to have a fair selection process implemented. To achieve this, an employer needs to identify a fair pool from which the redundant employees will be selected, adopt fair selection criteria, apply them fairly, and then consider alternative employment within the business or within a group of companies. If the employer fails to do this, he could be vulnerable to a finding of unfair dismissal.

Adopting a fair selection criteria is important. The factors taken into account by an employer must be objective and not subjective. It used to be “Last In First Out” but that is rarely used now. You will usually be given a selection matrix which sets out factual, objective criteria but may well include issues of performance such as:

  • Quantity of work (sales made/targets hit etc)
  • Quality of work (corrections required/complaints etc)
  • Skills/qualifications/training
  • Initiative
  • Timekeeping
  • Flexibility/Future potential
  • Absence
  • Length of service
  • Disciplinary records
Each category has a level at which you earn points. The more points you get, the less likely you will be made redundant.
The issue of fair selection criteria becomes more difficult if there is only 1 employee being made redundant or the “pool” is incorrectly chosen.
The selected criteria needs to be applied fairly, usually by a line manager. Many unfair dismissal claims arise not out of the factors taken into account but of the scores awarded.
If you are selected, you will be consulted by your employer and given an opportunity to question your selection scores and offer any mitigating circumstances.
Where an employee is selected for redundancy, an employer must reasonably consider alternative employment within the company. It is not sufficient to ask you to apply for the job, you should be put in front of any external candidates.
If you have or are about to be Made Redundant and believe that your employer has not used a fair selection process and you would like more advice on redundancy law and unfair redundancy dismissal, then please do not hesitate to contact us.