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Managing Staff- Redundancy Selection

Selection for Redundancy

One of the most difficult aspects of a redundancy programme is deciding who goes and who stays and avoiding any consequent litigation. If you already have a customary or agreed redundancy selection procedure, it should generally be followed unless there are special reasons justifying departure.

As to the content of the redundancy selection procedure, it should be fair, clear and non-discriminatory. In particular, the pool of employees from which selection will be made should be defined and trade union membership (or lack of it), pregnancy, part time status, marital status, sex, race, disability, age etc must not be a factor in the decision-making process. Methods of selecting candidates for redundancy such as LIFO (last in first out) or FIFO (first in first out) and length of service in any selection criteria are likely to be age discriminatory (LIFO may still be a fair selection criterion if it is objectively justifiable).

If you do not have a pre-existing procedure, reasonable redundancy selection criteria should be objectively adopted and applied. Consider what skills and experience are most relevant for the job and ensure that the criteria reflect the requirements of the job. Such criteria could include an employee's ability, experience, length of service, conduct and attendance record.

Proper decision making is best evidenced by documenting both the selection criteria and the even-handed application of such criteria in individual cases. Wherever possible, ensure that scores are moderated by more than one person to avoid accusations of bias.

Employees at risk of redundancy must be provided with their own score and fully consulted before any final decisions are made.

Although redundancy is potentially a fair reason for dismissal, not following these principles could render the dismissal unfair.

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