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An EAT decision provides a reminder to all employers that any departure from the conventional approach to selection criteria during a redundancy exercise must be treated with caution. The EAT found that an employer had acted unreasonably when it used a series of competency tests normally used in its recruitment process to select staff for redundancy. In an attempt to avoid subjectivity and bias, the employer had developed an elaborate selection procedure, including the competency tests, which was operated by its HR department without input from the affected employees’ managers and without regard to past appraisals.
Although a recruitment-style assessment centre may be appropriate in some large-scale redundancy exercises, it will not generally be acceptable to use it as an alternative to traditional selection methods. The case also emphasises that employees’ line managers will often have an important role to play in the application of selection criteria.
This checklist summarises the key issues that a business should be aware of when dealing with a redundancy situation