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At our recent event held with East Midlands Chamber, we looked at how to carry out a redundancy process.  One of the key parts of any redundancy process is identifying the pools for selection and we explore that in this briefing.

Why are pools for selection important?

There are a few important reasons:

  1. The first is making sure your process is fair. If it isn’t, you may face an employment tribunal claim. Getting the selection pool right is a key part of a fair redundancy process.
  2. The second, and as important, is getting it right for the business. Only by undertaking a thorough analysis of what your needs are and who the best people are, will you make sure you keep the right people.
  3. The final thing is employees seeing that the process is fair. This isn’t just important for the people who leave but also the people that stay. You want them to understand that you are a fair and reasonable employer.

What do I need to consider when assessing a pool for selection?

  1. Firstly, think about what type of work is ceasing or diminishing. If it is a distinct role that you require fewer of, then the pool selection should be straight forward.
  2. Consider if work is interchangeable or people have transferable skills. If this is the case, then you might need to widen the pool.
  3. Is a pool of one acceptable? In some cases, it can be if it is a stand-alone role. However, still look to see if the employee affected has transferable skills or the work is interchangeable.
  4. Have you genuinely applied your mind to the pool choice and kept a record of your decision-making process? This is a key point. If you have given careful thought to the pool, an employment tribunal, if you ever got that far, is unlikely to interfere with your decision. Keeping a record is a great way of demonstrating to a tribunal, if you need to, what your thought process was.
  5. Have you consulted on the pool selection? This is another key point. If you consult on the pool, then the affected employees have had a chance to comment on it. A tribunal is much more likely to be satisfied with the pool choice where employees have had a chance to have their say. It does not mean we have to agree with the employees, just consider their views.

What happens if my pool selection is challenged by the employees?

An employment tribunal cannot substitute its own view of what the pool should have been. They can only assess if the pool choice was reasonable. If you follow the tips we’ve set out here, you put yourself in the best position to do that.

It’s really important to remember as with a lot of things in life, it isn’t what you do, it’s the way you do it. If employees see there has been a genuine effort by the employer to assess pools, and they have been consulted, then you stand a really good chance of them accepting your decision.

Where can I find out more about redundancy?

You can read more on the things you need to know here: https://www.acas.org.uk/manage-staff-redundancies.

Need help with restructures and redundancies in your business?

We can help. If you need any support or advice, please get in touch with one of our friendly team, contact – lisa.lenton@precepthr.com or 07469 153048