I n every workplace it can happen that certain number of employees needs to be made redundant. When this happens and an employer makes a selection of employees to make redundant, it is necessary to use fair and objective criteria, which are also supported by facts and evidence. This often leads to a downhill and people usually borrow money in the period when they don’t have work, so it is essentially important to find a good lender liability lawyer. Now, back to the redundancy problems.
Methods of selecting the employees for redundancy should be previously agreed with a trade union or with the employees, and as long as he employer uses these reasons to justify the redundancy, it is considered a fair dismissal. The criteria for the selection can be various, and the employer can use one, several or all of them when estimating who to choose for the redundancy dismissal. Some of the most commonly used criteria are:
- the length of the employment, where the employees who have been in the company for the shortest time are selected for the redundancy first
- looking through disciplinary records, where the employees who have made the most breaches are selected first
- staff appraisal, which involves observing each employee’s skills, experience and qualifications before deciding who to make redundant
- asking for volunteers, where the employer first makes redundant those who apply for redundancy dismissal themselves.
If some of the above criteria are used (some other criteria may be involved as well), redundancy is considered to be fair and lawful. However, there are reasons of redundancy which are considered to be unfair, such as:
- discriminatory reasons – one of the unfair reasons for any kind of dismissal, not only the redundancy dismissal, are discriminatory reasons. They involve choosing the employees to be made redundant according to their gender, ethnicity, religion, race or sexual orientation. Making a pregnant employee redundant is also considered as unfair redundancy dismissal
- subjective reasons – in addition to discriminatory reasons, the employer must not involve subjective reasons neither when selecting the candidates for redundancy dismissal. This means that they are not allowed to choose to make someone redundant because they personally do not like them or because they do not get along. In other words, the employer must be able to objectively and clearly state and justify the reasons of choosing someone to be made redundant.
If the criteria for redundancy dismissal were unfair, the employee is allowed to appeal against the decision by filing a written claim to an industrial tribunal. Discriminatory reasons can be direct or indirect. Direct reasons are more obvious, for example when the employer makes redundant a person who is on maternity or sick leave. Indirect reasons are not that straightforward, but they still put in unfavorable position anyone who does not meet the criteria, for example if there are more women who work as part-time employees, it is considered discriminatory to women to make only part-timers redundant.
There are some other criteria that are considered unfair, and if the employer makes someone redundant based on them, a legal action can be taken: employee’s membership of a trade union, employee doing jury service, taking part in lawful industrial action for up to twelve weeks etc.