Overview of Redundancy Selection Process; Understanding redundancy with James Johnson

James Johnson

05 January 2017

Expert employment solicitor James Johnson answers questions and explains the redundancy process.

  • What is the redundancy selection process?
  • Can you challenge the redundancy selection process?
  • Can an employee take time off during the redundancy process?

What is the definition of Redundancy?

The definition of redundancy is the termination of employees by the employer for business reasons, such as poor economic conditions, reduction in work or maybe cutting costs. Redundancies can be forced through a selection process or voluntary – in the case of voluntary redundancies there are usually incentives offered to outgoing employees, such as extended garden leave or more valuable severance packages. Voluntary redundancies are designed to prevent the employer having to choose who to terminate.

What is the selection process?

There are two stages in the selection process for the employer.

First. they must consider the pool of employees from which they're going to make their selections for redundancy, this will be the pool of employees who carry out similar types of work. Once they determine the pool they then need to obtain selection criteria, which they could apply against that pool to decide which of those employees will be placed at risk of redundancy.

This means using fair and transparent criteria, the criteria needs to be written down and it needs to be measurable, so it will include things such as length of service, disciplinary records, attendance and punctuality records and also performance criteria such as kPI's.

Can someone challenge the selection process?

The selection process can be challenged in three main ways. Firstly, an employee was unhappy with the selection process should raise this as part of their consultation process, that might be in respect to challenging the selection criteria, which have been applied. The pool for selection which has been applied by the employer or alternatively how like selection criteria has been applied against the individual employee i.e. their scores.

If they still remain unhappy with the selection process they can also raise the deposit their appeal process which should be arranged by the employer after the redundancies being confirmed. Finally, if the employee still doesn't get any success from the employer they're still unhappy with that selection process which has been applied, they could raise this as part of an unfair dismissal claim to the employment tribunal.

Can someone take time off during the redundancy process?

Where an employee has more than two years’ service at the time the redundancy consultation, if they've been placed on notice of termination for redundancy they have the right to take paid time off in order to search for alternative roles. There is no legislatory guidance in relation to the amount of time they can take off but it's fair to accept that this would be in relation to attending job interviews and possibly attending meetings with her example that recruit agents.

 
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