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Company's mistake turns redundancies into unfair dismissals

Posted: 2nd June 2011   In: Business Employment

Businesses need to ensure they follow the correct procedures when making redundancies.

Otherwise mistakes can lead to claims of unfair dismissal, as happened in a recent case involving a company that needed to lay off a number of staff.

The company had selection procedures in place and used them to assess which employees should be chosen for redundancy. It followed its own criteria correctly but then failed to inform the employees of their scores during the formal step 2 meeting required by the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedures.

Three employees who were then chosen for redundancy appealed on the basis that they had not been informed of their scores.

The employment tribunal ruled that the company’s failure to provide this information breached the statutory requirements. The failure meant the employees did not know why they had been selected and so were not in a position to respond.

The tribunal said this amounted to automatic unfair dismissal. That decision has now been upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Please contact us if you would like more information about redundancy procedures or any aspect of employment law.