HR guides

Fair selection for redundancy: HR guide



In this guide on fair selection for redundancy I cover identifying the pool, bumping, the selection criteria and scoring.

Generally, employees who have at least two years’ continuous service with their employer have the right not to be unfairly dismissed.

As part of the requirement to follow a fair redundancy process, employers may be required to carry out a fair selection process.

If an employee is doing a specific unique role and it is proposed to delete that role it may not be necessary to carry out a selection process. However, when employees are doing the same or similar roles and there is, for example, a headcount reduction a selection process will normally be required.

Identifying the pool

First, it is necessary to identify the appropriate pool of employees from which the selection will be made.

Where the duty to carry out collective consultation arises, details of the proposed method of selecting employees must be provided in wring to the appropriate representatives, as part of the requirement to provide information.

In establishing the pool it is necessary to assess factors such as what work is ceasing or reducing, whether the employees are doing the same or similar roles and whether the employees’ jobs are interchangeable.


Bumping is when an employer bumps a potentially redundant employee into another role and then dismisses the employee doing that other role. It could include offering an employee in a senior position a junior position and bumping the other person. It could even include transferring an employee to a different type of role.

There is no mandatory legal requirement for bumping but it may be appropriate in certain cases.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria should as far as possible be objective rather than subjective.

Criteria could, for example, include: performance and skills (which are often split into subcategories based on previous appraisals and/or an assessment at the time of the selection); attendance records (but absences for certain periods such as maternity/paternity leave or disability-related absence should be discounted); and disciplinary records.

It is common to give different weightings to the criteria so, for instance, performance and skills could have a higher weighting.


Individuals should be given an opportunity to see there scores and understand how there scores have been reached as well as being given an opportunity to challenge their scores.

Ultimately, the key question will be whether the selection process was fair. Other matters relating to fairness include consultation and searching for suitable alternative roles.

This guide is intended for guidance only and should not be relied upon for specific advice.

If you need any advice on redundancy or have queries relating to other employment law issues please do not hesitate to contact me on 020 3797 1264.

Do check regularly for updated information.

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