Step 5: Select employees - Managing staff redundancies

Step 5: Select employees

You need to select employees for redundancy in a fair way.

If you're making a whole team or specific group of staff redundant, you'll have already identified clear selection criteria and a list of roles you need to make redundant.

For example, if a farm shop closes its bakery, it will need to make its bakers redundant.

But if you need to reduce the number of employees in the organisation or team, you'll need:

  • set up selection criteria
  • make a list of roles to be considered for redundancy (a 'selection pool')

Selection pools

Selection pools help make sure employees are selected for redundancy in a fair way.

Where a number of different roles are at risk of redundancy, you may need to have more than one selection pool.

You should include in each pool all roles that are the same or similar.

You should also consider including roles that have similar skills. For example, all marketing roles are in a selection pool. You could also include roles from the press and communications team if the skills are similar to those needed for marketing.

When setting up a selection pool, you should check and follow any:

  • agreements you may have with a recognised trade union
  • existing redundancy policy

If there is no existing policy or agreement, you should consider consulting any recognised trade union on how the pool should be set up.

Using selection criteria

You should have included selection criteria in your consultation.

Criteria should be as objective and measurable as possible. This means they should be fair, be based on facts that can be measured and not be affected by personal opinions.

You must use the same way of scoring criteria for all employees in the pool.

Agreed selection criteria scoring is useful as:

  • it can be applied to everyone (although you might need to use different scoring for different groups of employees – for example, the engineering team might have a different scoring from the sales team)
  • it can be easily explained to everyone
  • employees feel they're being treated fairly
  • it gives a clear, structured and consistent system for managing selection issues
  • it can be used at employment tribunals to defend an employer's decision

Examples of selection criteria could include:

  • standard of work or performance
  • skills, qualifications or experience
  • attendance record, which must be accurate and not include absences relating to disability, pregnancy or maternity
  • disciplinary record

How to score employees

You can have different levels of points according to the importance of each criteria ('weighting') for your organisation's needs.

For example, if it's agreed that attendance record is less important than performance, you can allow fewer points for this. So you could score attendance out of 5 points and performance out of 15.

You should have written evidence against each of the criteria.

Example scoring criteria and points

Work performance:

  • outstanding – consistently exceeds company standard 15
  • exceeds objectives of the role 12
  • meets all objectives of the role 9
  • meets some objectives of the role 6
  • fails to meet objectives of the role 3

Skills and competence:

  • fully competent, multi-skilled, supports others on regular basis 15
  • fully competent in current role 12
  • competent in most aspects of current role, requires some supervision 9
  • some competence in role, requires regular supervision and guidance 6
  • cannot function without close support or supervision 3

Disciplinary record:

  • no record of disciplinary action 5
  • record of informal disciplinary action 4
  • verbal warning current 3
  • written warning current 2
  • final written warning current 1

Attendance record:

  • no recorded absence 5
  • some absence but below average for selection pool (or workplace) 4
  • attendance in line with workplace (or selection pool) average 3
  • absence level above average for selection pool (or workplace) 2
  • high and unacceptable level of absence 1

Following the law

It's against discrimination law to select employees based on:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

It's also against other areas of employment law to select anyone because of:

  • maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, ordinary parental leave, shared parental leave, parental bereavement leave, time off for dependants and carer's leave
  • their role as an employee representative or trade union representative
  • membership of a trade union
  • working part time or on a fixed-term contract
  • working time regulations – for example if they've raised concerns about holiday entitlement or rest breaks
  • concerns they've raised about not being paid the National Minimum Wage
  • concerns they've raised about whistleblowing
For example, you want staff to be more flexible around the hours they work. If you only have selection criteria based on how willing employees are to work different shift patterns or change their working arrangements, it could be sex discrimination. This is because women are more likely to have caring responsibilities that make it hard to change their working hours.
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