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should redundancy be a tick box exercise?

14 August 2012

When making redundancies from a pool of staff, the safest approach is always to use objective criteria that can be measured, reducing the risk of challenge. Or is it? The employment appeal tribunal (EAT) has cautioned against this approach in a recent decision.

The employment tribunal criticised the employer for using subjective selection criteria, one of which was: ‘which of 5 management roles could be lost with the least effect on the organisation.’ On appeal, the EAT said there was nothing wrong with using subjective criteria. It went on to caution against only using criteria which can be 'scored or assessed' as that could reduce selection procedures to box ticking exercises. Just because subjective criteria are matters of judgement, it does not mean that they cannot be assessed in a dispassionate or objective way. Hopefully this decision will give employers more confidence in using a selection process which is both fair and best suited to the needs of the organisation.

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