Employers should consult affected employees regarding the selection criteria and the criteria must be consistently applied and be objective, fair and consistent. Examples of such criteria are:
Formal qualifications and advance skills should be considered, but not in isolation.
It is notoriously easy for an employer to fall foul of the law when carrying out redundancies. This is because the requirements of a fair procedure listed above in a redundancy dismissal are more exacting than for other types of dismissal.
In the case of Pinewood Repro Ltd T/A County Print v Page, a tribunal in Manchester found that the employer had failed to conduct adequate consultation with the claimant, Mr Page, because they had failed to provide him with an adequate explanation of why he had received lower scores than the two other people in the pool for redundancy. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the tribunal’s finding of unfair dismissal.
The employer found itself on the back foot in this case because it was ultimately unable to justify its selection of Mr Page for redundancy by showing its marking of him was accurate: no one had ever raised any issues with him about his work and there was no regular appraisal system.
Equally, it could not show its marks in respect of the other two candidates in the pool were accurate due to the lack of appraisal system.
Where an employer uses a more subjective criterion such as ‘flexibility’, it needs to be very sure it can back up its scoring with evidence, and this evidence should be provided if challenged by the employee.
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