The ins and outs of redundancy — EAT upholds tribunal decision on unfair selection

The council needed to downsize its Youth Service Department. Instead of using the traditional method of selecting for redundancy from existing staff, all employees in the department were invited to apply for a new role in the restructure. The two claimants in The Council of the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne v Ford were dismissed for redundancy following an appeal, after failing to secure a new role.

The recruitment process, which was agreed with the trade union, involved interviewing the internal candidates first, after a consultation exercise. The interviews were conducted by a panel made up of employer representatives and one specialist external member. Prior to interview, each candidate had been offered interview training but that offer was declined by the claimants.

At interview, each candidate was asked the same six questions, for which model answers had been prepared. Out of five candidates, only one was successful. In an internal email, one of the panel members may have inadvertently given the game away by commenting that they were ‘disappointed at the outcome as it was much lower than we had anticipated’…

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