Unfair Selection for Redundancy Claim succeeds leading the Employment Appeals Tribunal to award €8,500 in compensation. After hearing statements from the former employee (the claimant) and the respondent (a car dealership), the Tribunal was satisfied that a redundancy situation existed, however, the Tribunal concluded that the process was defective and, therefore, determined that the claimant was entitled to a significant award.
The respondent failed to consult the claimant about his redundancy and did not appear to properly consider alternatives before finalising the decision to make the employee redundant – For instance, the employee could have suggested that he work a shorter working week/reduced hours or that he take a reduction in pay. The respondent is obliged to consider these suggestions over a period of consultation, however, the claimant was not afforded this entitlement and was only told the reasons behind the decision to select him for redundancy after asking for these.
The Tribunal found that the claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007 was justified which is why the claimant walked away with €8,500. This sum was in addition to the redundancy lump sum that he had received when the redundancy first occurred.
Details of this case can be found on the Workplace Relations Website (Case No. UD450/2012) – http://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/Cases/2013/November/UD450_2012.html
This case stresses the importance of following the approved procedures when it comes to redundancy. Not only do you have to prove that a redundancy is required in order to keep the business viable – you must also be able to justify why you made one employee redundant over another.
The employer must be able to show that the redundancy process was not flawed. Employers should use a Selection Matrix so he or she cannot be accused of subjectivity (which is what the employee claimed in the above-mentioned case). The employer is obliged to invite the employee to a meeting making them aware that it concerns redundancy. Employers are obliged to give the employee notice of the redundancy and the reasons why the redundancy scenario came about along with why they were selected.
The employer should have asked the employee in question if they could think of any alternatives to the redundancy and the employer should have allowed for a period of consultation of at least three days before making their final decision. It is also important to allow employees to be accompanied to meetings like this.