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Redundancy and restructure – the value of getting the selection pool right

Restructuring your business can be a terrifying prospect.  Major changes are generally unpopular for most employees and job losses certainly are.  However, unprecedented times call for major action and restructuring a business can mean the difference between survival and failure.  Where a business can take a step back, review and implement changes it stands the best chance of succeeding with a restructure and it is important to focus on the positive impact that this difficult process will have on the future business.

When planning a restructure, employers should give in depth consideration to what the future of the  business will be.  From that point, it is easier to decide what the business needs to look like in order to meet this future successfully.  This then informs the decisions and the process to be undertaken.

It is rarely successful when litigants challenge a business’ rationale to restructure of make redundancies.  This is because Employment Tribunals are not permitted to substitute their own mindset for that of the employer, which in turn gives businesses a broad discretion in decision making.  Put simply, employers are allowed to make business decisions, even if these turn out not to achieve positive results in the long-term.  One such decision is who should be part of the selection pool – essentially who will be at risk of redundancy?

This is an important decision, as this is the point at which the employer decides who might be made redundant in due course following consultation.  The constitution of the pool is largely a decision that is at the employer’s discretion.  Given that employers will know what they want the business to look like in future, this is the point at which decisions can be taken to include or not include certain people in the pool in order to achieve that end result.  So, give considerable thought to the selection pool in order to give the best chance of achieving what you need to achieve.  You can then apply your particular selection criteria to the pool and keep the skills you need to meet your future business requirements.

More information on some of the key considerations of the selection pool decision can be found on along with lots of other helpful FAQs and materials on redundancy at https://lexleyton.co.uk/redundancies-and-dismissals/

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