All in it together? Large redundancy pool could have worked if selection had been fair

Contract Bottling Ltd v Cave arose out of a redundancy exercise conducted by a company that needed to make cuts in administration and accounts staff.

Unusually, the employer did not adopt a narrow pool for consideration; instead, it put together in one pool 10 employees whose job titles ranged from accounts manager to quality controller and warehouse manager.

A generic scoring matrix was applied, with the intention of dismissing four staff and keeping the other six whatever their function had been and retraining them as necessary. It was accepted that this might involve ‘bumping’ – if, for example, the quality controller had the lowest score, he would have been dismissed, even though the quality control function was still required; that function would then be reassigned to someone else…

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