I have three people doing the same role and I need to make one of them redundant. Do I need to keep the two people who have been here the longest?

Year Published: 2015

No. The purpose of a fair redundancy process is to choose the best person or people for the remaining roles.

Where employees are all doing the same role, and a selection has to be made, it is important to apply fair and objective selection criteria. Whilst length of service can be one factor to consider, it does not have to be and a variety of other objective factors will be much more important to a business such as an employee’s skill set, qualifications, punctuality and their disciplinary record. Employers can also take into account an employee’s absence record but must not score in a discriminatory way i.e. an employee should not be marked down for any pregnancy related absence.

Before employers make a decision that a role is redundant (and before they can go through any selection process) they should firstly be consulting fully with the employees who are going to be affected.

They may have suggestions for how the redundancy can be avoided or may even opt to take voluntary redundancy, which would avoid the need to go through a selection process at all.

If selection is necessary, employees should be advised about what selection criteria is going to be used and why, and should be given the opportunity to challenge their particular score as part of the process; transparency and communication is crucial to a fair redundancy process.


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