Redundancy

I have been selected for redundancy and I don’t know if it’s fair.

Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissing an employee under the Employment Rights Act 1996.  For a dismissal to be by reason of redundancy, a redundancy situation must exist.  In this current economic climate, it is often not hard for an employer to provide evidence that he has to reduce costs and these may reasonably include looking at staffing overheads.  As such, many potential Claimants who come in to see Pearson Solicitors are not disputing that there was a genuine redundancy situation but they explain that they feel that they themselves should not have been made redundant, someone else should have been selected.

Being considered for redundancy

The following needs to be considered; if a number of people were being considered for redundancy, was the pool for selection correctly identified?  The following factors can determine whether or not the pool was correctly identified;

  • whether other groups of employees were doing similar work to the group from which the selections were made
  • whether the employees’ jobs are interchangeable
  • whether the employee’s inclusion in the pool is consistent with his/her previous position
  • whether or not the pool was agreed with the Union/employee representatives
  • whether or not there is a mobility clause in the employee’s contract. 

Possible unfair redundancy selection

An employer may be wrongly identifying a pool if he treats employees working at different sites or on different shifts as separate groups for the purpose of redundancy selection. 

If the pool for selection is correctly identified, the next thing to consider is whether the selection criteria itself was objective and fairly applied.  Subject to an employer having reasonable reasons for deciding on the selection criteria, an Employment Tribunal would be unlikely to class as unfair.  Examples of selection criteria can be skill and knowledge, attendance and disciplinary records, versatility, adaptability. 

Employers are required to consult with employees who are at risk of redundancy and to consider suitable alternative employment, before making a decision as to who to select for redundancy.

If you have been through a redundancy situation and feel that your employer has failed to follow a fair process, please contact Pearson Solicitors Employment team today.