It is important that employers can prove, if required in an employment tribunal, that any redundancy criteria they have used when making redundancies, has been applied and scored fairly for all employees.
The most popular redundancy criteria that are used are:
- Performance and skills – Must include the main skills required in the business moving forward.
- Length of service – The ‘old school’ way of “last in first out” can no longer be used due to the Equality Act 2010 that covers age discrimination. However, this does not stop length of service being used as part of a redundancy criteria, it just cannot be used as the deciding or only
- Attendance and absence – Attendance records are a good criterion to use, if done so over a period of time, however employers must ensure they do not include any absences relating to any of the protective characteristics.
- Disciplinary records – These can be used if they are for any live warnings an employee may have, using disciplinary records ensures that employees with no blemish on their record receive top marks in the scoring process
- Cost – You can take an employee’s cost into account as ultimately a redundancy process is a cost cutting exercise. However employers cannot use cost as an individual or deciding factor as ultimately your higher cost employees may be longer serving employees, so age discrimination could be an issue.
Tips to choosing redundancy criteria:
- Choose the skills you need for the future of the business, as in a redundancy programme an employer’s aim is to retain the ‘best’ employees.
- Combine objective and subjective criteria, but keep the criteria simple – do not use too many, a total of six is recommended.
- Always consult with Trade Unions or employee representatives on the selection criteria you are going to use.
- Have more than one manager score the employee’s to avoid any personal views or bias. The employees line manager should score, but it is recommended, if possible, that another manager is used to check the scores to eliminate mistakes.
- Keep all data factual.
- Consult with employees on their scores and discuss concerns or queries they may have with their scores.
- Ensure the time period the scoring is done over is sufficient – a period of 2 years is best practice.
- Be aware of discrimination – ensure no employee has an advantage over another employee due to specific circumstance.