Who to put at Risk During Redundancies

#HRFridayFact: If redundancies are necessary, similar roles must be put at risk and a fair scoring system used to select individuals

Sometimes, even in periods of growth, businesses have to remodel and re-shape to accommodate and react to shifts in economic conditions. Ditching unprofitable lines for example. If redundancies become a necessity then “last in, first out” isn’t an acceptable policy and businesses should use a system that fairly scores all relevant employees’ abilities against the skills required to fulfil the available positions.

Whenever there is a redundancy situation you must remember that it is positions that are made redundant and not people. You must never use redundancy as a reason to dismiss a specific person without following a proper redundancy process. So, where a position has been identified as being redundant and more than one person is currently employed who can fulfil it, operating a fair selection process is paramount where all employees in that role are put “at risk”.

So if a company suffers a downturn in business and requires 2 less technicians from a team of 10, then all 10 technicians must be put at risk. A fair scoring system must then be applied to establish who the top employees are, based on their ability and aptitude and the bottom two will lose their jobs.
For example, if you close down a section of the business that makes product X, you may also have to put the section that makes product Y at risk if employees from the first section have the skills and ability to make both products.
Equally, employees that do similar roles at different offices or sites across the country may all need to be put at risk of redundancy if the need for one of those workers becomes unnecessary. So if the bookkeeping role of four offices could be managed by just two bookkeepers then all four would need to be put at risk and the best two selected following a fair selection process.

Unacceptable selection methods for redundancy include:

  • Last in first out
  • Drawing lots
  • Selection based on the lowest cost
  • Selection because someone is perceived as a difficult person.

We recommend employees are scored against a ‘selection matrix’ that awards points for each requirement of the position including skills, qualifications, track record and experience. This could include minus points for poor attendance and any disciplinary history. The lowest scores are those who are dismissed.

Ensure your scoring matrix is fair and does not favour or discriminate against any individual or group. A redundancy situations that can be construed as an excuse to exit a specific employee could lead to an unfair dismissal claim so it’s crucial that your process is flawless.

For further help and support with making redundancies contact us on 01452 331331 or e-mail info@hrchampions.co.uk

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17 August 2017, 12:49
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