REDUNDANCY - 13.07.2020

Redundancy and competitive interview processes

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that a requirement for employees to interview during a redundancy process rendered their dismissals unfair. Why was this?

Competitive interviews

In Gwynedd Council v Barratt 2020 (see Follow up ), during a reorganisation the employer conducted an interview process for the available jobs instead of applying an objective scoring matrix to select which teachers would be made redundant. However, the teachers were interviewing for what were essentially the same jobs as those they were already doing. There was no consultation over the proposals and no appeal against dismissal was offered. B was made redundant and claimed unfair dismissal.

Unfair dismissal

The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the tribunal was right to hold that B’s dismissal was unfair. It ruled that this type of interview process during a redundancy procedure will only be appropriate where employees are being considered for alternative jobs which are genuinely new posts. It went on to hold that, even if the available jobs were new posts allocated by interview, it will usually also be a requirement of fairness for the employer to go through a consultation process and to provide a right of appeal, neither of which had happened.

Pro advice. You can use an interview process when considering redundant employees for alternative employment only if that alternative is a new post. Otherwise, select employees for redundancy using objective selection criteria.

The employees were effectively being asked to apply for their own jobs, rather than for new posts, with no consultation or right of appeal against dismissal.

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