Consulting on scoring in a redundancy situation – some useful guidance

Many employers are in the midst of implementing redundancies or facing the difficult decision on whether or not to do so.  A common issue that arises in any larger scale redundancy procedure is the selection of employees by way of a scoring and how far you need to go to explain to employees how that scoring has been carried out.

In Pinewood Repro Limited (t/a County Print) v Page the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that a fair redundancy consultation process involves giving an employee an explanation for why he has been marked down in a scoring exercise and an opportunity for employees to comment on the scores. 

In this case, the employee questioned his employer as to why he had been marked down for flexibility, one of the headings in the scoring matrix. The employer said the scores were reasonable and appropriate, but did not offer any explanation as to how they arrived at the score. The EAT said that in order to dismiss an employee by reason of redundancy fairly the person consulted must be able to understand the basis upon which the decision is taken and in particular, must be given sufficient information to be able to challenge the scores given to him in the completion of a redundancy exercise. The EAT upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that the employee was unfairly dismissed.    

This case is a useful guide to employers that one of the requirements for a fair redundancy consultation involves providing an employee with adequate information on which to respond and argue his case. In certain cases that may involve being given sufficient information to be able to challenge the scores awarded.

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