Having decided how many  employees are likely to be made redundant, you will usually need to pool those employees who are at risk of redundancy before deciding who to select for redundancy.

  1. Redundancy – where to start
  2. Who to consult with
  3. Who to select for redundancy
  4. Alternatives to redundancy
  5. Consultation meetings
  6. Redundancy – scoring employees
  7. Concluding redundancy consultation

What is the Selection Pool?

A selection pool is a way of grouping employees who are at risk of redundancy. The pool helps make sure employees are selected for redundancy in a fair way.

A selection pool should include:

  • employees doing the same or similar role who are at risk of redundancy
  • employees with the same or similar skills in other roles who are at risk of redundancy

You must make sure all employees at risk of redundancy in these groups are included in the selection pool. You must not discriminate against any particular group.

If you have a recognised trade union, you should check and follow any agreements you may have with them about how selection pools are set up.

Many employers will  keep the pool for selection narrow so that there are fewer employees to consult with.  Where the selection pool is narrow, you should ensure that they are able to justify your decision. If the pool is too small, an employee will be able to challenge the dismissal as being unfair.

If there is only one employee carrying out the affected work, then it may be appropriate to have a selection “pool of one”.  You can read more about the dangers of having a “pool of one” here.

The Selection Criteria

Once the selection pool has been determined, it is a good idea to use criteria to help select  which employees to make redundant.

The redundancy selection criteria should be, as far as possible, objective and capable of independent verification.

You should base the criteria on:

  • standard of work
  • skills, qualifications or experience
  • attendance record, which must be accurate and not include absences relating to disability, pregnancy or maternity
  • disciplinary record

You  should not use selection criteria based on their own opinion or on a discriminatory basis and avoid selecting someone based on:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy or maternity
  • Their role as an employee representative
  • Joining or not joining a trade union
  • Being a part-time or fixed term employee

It may be helpful to consult with employees within the selection pool to agree selection criteria. At the end of the day, it is your choice. You may have to consult with a recognised union if there is a collective agreement.

Select employees in a fair way

It’s a good idea to score employees against all the agreed selection criteria. This will help you avoid relying on one particular criteria and can lower the risk of discriminating against employees.

It will also help you:

  • be objective when selecting employees
  • easily share with staff how the selection process works
  • explain your decisions at an Employment Tribunal

Decide which criteria are most important

You can adjust the points you give for each criteria. For example if it’s agreed that ‘attendance record’ is less important you can allocate fewer points. This creates a ‘weighting’ which allows you to be more flexible in how you score employees.

If you’ve set up a selection pool, you should apply the selection criteria to the pool and give employees an opportunity to appeal. This can reduce the chances of someone making a claim against you to an Employment Tribunal.

How to score employees

You can decide how much you want to score the employees against  each criteria. You should also provide written evidence to support your score. Ideally, two people should carry out the scoring independently.

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