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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been given the criteria for redundancy this morning,

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I have been given the criteria for redundancy this morning, we are a small company and I have been there for over five years, I feel that the criteria is heavily weighted against me as it has high percentages against tasks that I have had issues with recently and very low percentages against items that I am very good at. Standard criteria like timekeeping, flexibility and disciplinary have not been included where 8 months ago these were standard items.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. For now please let me know what is your specific question.

Customer:

Hi Ben, I have been given the criteria for redundancy this morning, I work in a small company and have been there over five years and up until this year my boss has been very happy with my performance, we went through redundancies 8 months ago and then the criteria was very standard since then I have been given a promotion, this time the criteria is 5 points with varying percentages against the tasks - these criteria and percentages seem to weigh very heavily against me. Would it be a fair assessment of my abilities as it seems to be very subjective.

Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. In order to justify the fairness of the redundancy procedure, an employer is required to show that the selection criteria they had used were reasonable.


 


The law says that in order to be reasonable, the redundancy selection criteria should, as far as possible, be both objective and capable of independent verification. This basically means that it should be measurable, rather than just being based on someone's personal opinion.


 


It is down to the employer to choose what criteria they use and what scores/weighting they are given.


 


If the selection is based on subjective grounds then it is likely to be unfair so that an employee is not selected by a manager due to personal animosity, or for an automatically unfair or discriminatory reason.


 


When it comes to relying on performance and ability as a selection criterion, it is important that an employer chooses clearly-defined criteria and a system of weighting that relates to skill and knowledge required for its current and future needs. In assessing the performance of each employee, the employer should refer to written records, such as performance appraisals. It will be difficult for the employee to challenge the employer's reliance on appraisals, particularly where they have agreed with comments made in the appraisal.


 


Finally, it is important to note that a tribunal may not substitute the selection criteria it would have chosen for those used by the employer. They can only decide if the chosen criteria was fairly applied.


 


If you are made redundant and wish to challenge this you have two options - one is to appeal the dismissal directly to your employer. If that fails you then have the right to make a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.

Customer:

Hi Ben - Thanks for your response, what you said is very interesting and very relevant - I have been asked to go through my work where he has found fault and write an assessment of why a mistake happened, it seems that he is getting us to write our own appraisals.

Customer:

- for the last 3 months I have been working 10 - 12 hour days picking up peoples work while they are on holiday or on leave, the work load my boss admitted was to great and I was under a lot of stress now he seems to be using this against me. I understand that the assessment is for the employer to choose criteria and scores etc. but if there are ten good things and one bad thing, because the employer is choosing the scores how can you make sure the good points are included as well - or is that covered in the right to appeal.

Ben Jones :

This is mainly covered by one of the statements I mentioned above = When it comes to relying on performance and ability as a selection criterion, it is important that an employer chooses clearly-defined criteria and a system of weighting that relates to skill and knowledge required for its current and future needs. This can be difficult to define though and often will only become obvious when formally challenged, for example in a tribunal claim. You can certainly raise these points on appeal and then in a tribunal, if you decide to go that way

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