If an employer is proposing to make an employee redundant, they must first consider the right group of people for redundancy, then choose people from that group in a fair way using an appropriate selection criteria. This general rule applies to all employees, even those with less than 2 years’ service, because although employers don’t necessarily have to show their decision was reasonable for a short serving employee, an employee can still potentially bring a claim for discrimination and/or automatically unfair dismissal.
As an “at risk” of redundancy employee, it might be necessary to make sure your employer has considered the right people for redundancy. An employer can always decide who is potentially “at risk” of redundancy but it is essential to determine the correct pool of labour before making any final decisions. It is also important for employers to remember that it is actually roles that are potentially redundant; not people!
An employer must consult with employees about the relevant pool of labour before choosing anyone for redundancy. A particular pool of labour could be everyone in the part of the business or everyone with a certain job title. It will obviously depend on the relevant circumstances at the time. Sometimes, an employee might be the only person in the pool of labour. For example, if they’re at a small employer or if they’re the only person doing the specific job which is “at risk” but, whatever the situation, great care must always be taken in identifying the correct pool before anything else happens.
Being in the pool of labour doesn’t necessarily mean each employee will be made redundant. The employer will need to tell the employees how many people will be made redundant from the pool. Employers often make mistakes at this stage of the process because they forget to include people who are doing similar work in the pool and expert advice should always be taken to avoid an employee being able to show that the pool used was unfair.