Key Criteria for Making Redundancies

Key Criteria for Making Redundancies

Guidance on how to handle this difficult task.

By Marcia Smith

Redundancy is never an easy thing to do, particularly in smaller companies where professional relationships are very often personal, too. When drawing up criteria for selecting employees for redundancy, it’s essential for the employer to focus on fair, objective and reasonable measures. Not only is this good for business, it also helps to protect against potential employment tribunal cases.

Skills and standard of work

The most important criterion will usually be an employee’s skills and aptitude at their job, and the standard of work that they produce. Maintaining good records of staff appraisals and productivity will make it easier to ensure that you retain your best staff and lose the worst performing people.

It’s also a good idea to prioritize for redundancy any employees who have been subject to disciplinary procedures and found guilty of misconduct or breaching the terms of their employment.

Identify the best performing

Next, you could consider employees’ attendance records, their qualifications, or perhaps the scores they’ve achieved in assessments or training courses. Anything that helps you to fairly identify who are the lowest performing, least able and least productive employees is likely to be a useful (and legal) way to select employees for redundancy.

Last-in, first-out

Some employers consider that a last-in, first-out policy is fair, so that long standing employees are rewarded for their loyalty. However, this isn’t always the best way of ensuring you keep the most able staff, so you shouldn’t rely on it. Criteria that you shouldn’t use includes pregnancy, disability and participation in a trade union – all of which could be legally challenged.

Finally, it’s also important for an employer to consider alternatives to selecting staff for redundancy. These include inviting applications for voluntary redundancy, filling vacancies with existing employees, temporary layoffs or short-time working.