Fair’s fair — selecting for vacancies on redundancy

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The claimant in Somerset County Council v Chaloner had been the deputy director of an education centre run as a business by the council. The centre was largely dependent on business from the public sector and expenditure cuts led to a severe and sudden downturn in work.

A document called ‘Business Case for Restructure’ (BS1), dealing with senior management posts, was drawn up. Four posts, including the claimant’s, were to be reduced to two. The claimant regarded one of those posts — business development manager — as very similar to her own and, although it was at a lower grade, she decided to apply for it. She was the only senior manager interested in the post and was confident she would be appointed.

But a month later, as a result of a further decline in the centre’s financial position, a second Business Case for Restructure (BS2) was drawn up. BS2 extended the reorganisation to other posts, including that of another employee who, as a result, also decided to apply for the new business development manager position…

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