On the basis of a decline in sales within an exhaust business the Finance Director decided that a redundancy was required. There were 4 employees who generated sales for the company. The Finance Director believed the company only required 3 people to perform the sales roles.
The 4 individuals were informed that their positions were at risk and they were given a copy of the selection matrix that was used to determine who would be made redundant. The 4 employees all agreed that the matrix (after a slight amendment suggested by one of the employees concerned) was a fair and equitable way of assessing them. The sales director scored the matrices. The employee who scored the lowest was informed that he was to be made redundant.
The employee who was made redundant contended that the selection process had not been fairly operated. The Finance Director had not raised the issue of the exhaust centre’s declining profitability with him before deciding to make someone redundant. He was not told his sales were down.
The employee who was made redundant was at a disadvantage because the 3 other employees had a closer affinity with one another than with him and therefore he scored lower on team work.
While the employee who was made redundant did not object to the selection matrix – he did, however, feel as though it had not been scored fairly. His extensive product knowledge was not taken into account. Also not taken into account was his City & Guilds qualification.
After his redundancy the employee learned that the company had a new operation in Cork. A former employee was recruited to manage the new operation. The claimant was not told about the new operation or asked to apply for any of the jobs there.
The claimant established loss for the Tribunal.
The Tribunal carefully considered all evidence in the case. It was clear that management did not speak to the employee when they determined that his position was not profitable.
When it came to the process of selecting an employee for redundancy, the method chosen put the employee at a distinct disadvantage.
The Tribunal found that the selection process was unfair and therefore the dismissal of the claimant was unfair. The claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007 succeeded and the claimant was awarded the sum of €58,000.00 in addition to any payment he had already received.