Did you know ... employers can manage which employees receive voluntary redundancy offers?

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Did you know ... employers can manage which employees receive voluntary redundancy offers?

Our Ask an Expert service draws attention to some interesting issues and questions confronted by our subscribers. Periodically, we will bring you a brief example of these interesting questions and answers.

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Our Ask an Expert service draws attention to some interesting issues and questions confronted by our subscribers. Periodically, we will bring you a brief example of these interesting questions and answers.
 
The example below refers to an employer's right to manage which employees receive voluntary redundancy offers.
 
Some employers have the impression that a voluntary redundancy offer has to be open to all potentially affected employees without qualification. This is not the case - as explained below.
 
Redundancy (selection criteria)
 
Question: Within one of our sites, turnover and profitability is down. We need to make around three people redundant. We are hesitant to ask for voluntary redundancies because we do not want to lose our good staff.
 
We would like to create our selection criteria around performance. However, we have not set performance objectives for staff in the past, therefore it would simply be management's opinion regarding our employees' performance. In the absence of proper evidence of poor performance, how can we set any meaningful selection criteria?
 
Comment: 'Voluntary redundancy', whilst relieving the employer of the necessity to make a difficult decision, may result in the employer losing valuable staff, particularly if a redundancy benefit greater than the prescribed minimum is offered.
 
The recommended approach is for the employer to select who is to be made redundant, referring to the skills, experience, training and performance of individuals compared to the current and future needs of the organisation.
 
If, after such an assessment, employees are found to be comparatively equal, then period of service would be an appropriate criteria, unless some other pressing domestic issue is raised by the individuals concerned. Industrial tribunals have determined that such a selection criteria is reasonable under the circumstances.
 
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