What redundancy criteria could be used here?

(20 Posts)
bodgersmash Thu 28-Mar-19 07:59:52

I think it's likely that either me or my boss will be made redundant in a few months, with the other one probably being made redundant at a later date.

We have no absence records at work, we have no performance reviews. I know these two things are often used as criteria for redundancy.

I am more qualified than my boss on paper, but he has more years of experience. I'm part time, he's full time. He is probably on double (or more) of my salary.

How are they going to be able to score us against each other?

OP’s posts: |
flowery Thu 28-Mar-19 09:01:28

If you do different jobs, they shouldn’t need to score you against each other. They’ll decide which job they need and make the other job redundant. Or they’ll remove both jobs and create a new one covering both sets of responsibilities, and then will identify a way of selecting who goes into that job, assuming you both want it. That could be an application process, or skills matching or similar

daisychain01 Fri 29-Mar-19 07:23:10

We have no absence records at work, we have no performance reviews. I know these two things are often used as criteria for redundancy.

What are they playing at?! They should state which roles they no longer need and be able to evidence all decisions about how they selected the people in posts for redundancy. Anything else is breaking the law. If there are attendance or performance issues they should address those in role, not use redundancy to sift those people out.

Yes that happens in reality under the radar but it's a shocking way to treat staff and flouts good practice.

itsboiledeggsagain Fri 29-Mar-19 07:25:57

Are you sure that is right daisychain? I've seen that applied as a criteria a few times.

I would suggest that if your jobs are very similar it will be about business need and thr fact that you are part time stands out to me. Can you cover his roel with yours? Vice versa?

flowery Fri 29-Mar-19 08:16:55

It is not “breaking the law” to use performance record as a selection criteria for redundancy at all. If you are having to reduce from 5 of x roles to 3 it stands to reason you’d want to keep the best performers and clearly historical performance in the role is a perfectly acceptable way of evidencing that. Unless the redundancy situation is not genuine, it isn’t using redundancy to sift poor performers out rather than managing them, it’s making a sensible decision that if you have to lose x people anyway, you keep the best performers for the benefit of the business.

Using attendance record can be more problematic unless you make adjustments to avoid discriminating on the basis of disability/family responsibilities etc, but again it’s a bit of a stretch to say that using it would be breaking the law.

bodgersmash Fri 29-Mar-19 14:17:06

They are also not supposed to discriminate between part time and full time, either.

Can they be forced to explain what criteria they used?

OP’s posts: |
Di11y Fri 29-Mar-19 14:26:46

they can't discriminate against part time but they can decide the new role needs to be full time and like it or lump it.

flowery Fri 29-Mar-19 15:14:02

”Can they be forced to explain what criteria they used?”

Before they do it they will explain what they are doing and what criteria will be used for decision making. You should have an opportunity to ask questions/raise concerns.

As I say, because you do different jobs, it’s less likely to involve a selection process in the same way- I would think they’d be more likely to either eliminate one particular job completely, therefore no selection between you, or to merge both jobs into one, probably paying a salary somewhere in the middle, and it will be a case of deciding who fills the new job.

daisychain01 Fri 29-Mar-19 15:14:07

It sounds highly unethical and skating on thin ice to me, flowery, but I suppose if they've already got evidence of having tried to resolve performance transparently to no avail, the hard knocks of life apply, and as long as they're paid correctly under redundancy policy that's all they need to do.

Attendance is a different matter and could have complexity re disability and equality, ie cherry picking people who don't have disabilities.

flowery Fri 29-Mar-19 15:30:20

”It sounds highly unethical and skating on thin ice to me, flowery,”

Why? What criteria would you use then, if you think using performance is unethical and legally risky?

flowery Fri 29-Mar-19 15:44:38

I’m actually struggling to think of a criterion that could legitimately be used that would allow you to distinguish between employees but wouldn’t involve using information about past performance. Qualifications perhaps? Disciplinary record? You could easily end up with several matching scores that way.

daisychain01 Sat 30-Mar-19 06:43:51

It depends how rigorous the company is about fairly evaluating and documenting performance, flowery. Some of the cases I read on here are a real eye opener about how employers use appalling ways of getting rid of staff. When I say unethical, I'm thinking of employers who could quite easily reverse engineer someone's performance to being a negative one just to suit their purposes. Take highly paid staff they want to dispense with - just decide they're poor performers and then make them redundant. Or cases I know where it's expedient to get rid of someone due to internal polics. Stranger things have happened.

Thing is, there's the process, the spreadsheets the justifications, but there's also the reality of using these processes for other agendas. Great if things are done 'above board' and honestly but that doesn't always happen.

In terms of criteria, it isn't easy I grant you that, but it's a balance of who wants to leave (so asking staff the question) plus qualifications and experience and, provided there is a fair way to use past performance then a weighting system of those criteria can be fair. As long as it doesn't come as a nasty shock to someone to be told out of the blue ' sorry you're going, you're crap at your job' (not those words of course grin ) I don't think it should be that 'cut and dry.'

daisychain01 Sat 30-Mar-19 06:44:36

internal politics

flowery Sat 30-Mar-19 07:44:47

Well lets assume we’re talking about genuine redundancy situations, rather than manufactured redundancies used to engineer a dismissal. There is no suggestion from the OP that this wouldn’t be genuine, or that any malicious agenda is at work here.

What criteria would you use for redundancy selection in the event of having to reduce staff doing the same/very similar jobs from x number to y number?

flowery Sat 30-Mar-19 07:49:05

Bearing in mind a focus on experience as opposed to performance could potentially be discriminatory against younger high performing workers as compared against older mediocre performers who have been sitting in the job longer...

bodgersmash Sat 30-Mar-19 08:05:41

I think another part of the problem is that PART of both my role and his role will both disappear soon. We will then both be left with "part roles".

There is also a huge amount of overlap in what we do. Our roles, which are fairly well defined on paper, in practice, are pretty imterchangeable. If someone needs something and asks our department head who they should speak to, the advice is normally "Mark or Kath" (I.E. my boss or me), as though we were equal colleagues rather than him being my senior.

There's not much which is exclusively "his" work, but there is a bit more which is routinely and by default "mine".

It's really hard to be able to call what's going to happen. I suppose the other option is that both our roles could be made redundant and the work could be taken on elsewhere (another head office overseas).

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Sat 30-Mar-19 11:52:36

I don't envy them trying to make a clearcut fair decision. In their position, I'd start with the consultative approach to seek input from you both as regards willingness to take redundancy. This scenario happened to me in a dept I worked in (on several occasions where they successively cut back year after year). A couple of people expressed a wish to go, so it made the situation straightforward. Have they asked you that question yet?

If both roles will be consolidated into 1 role and if you both state you don't want to be made redundant, it could be they put their cards on the table re their redundancy package and that might be a deciding factor. For example if your boss is long-serving, a tax free lump sum might be attractive, with the prospect of finding another role quickly could turn their head.

flowery I agree with you, the experience criteria does carry risk in terms of discriminatory aspect depending on a person's career stage.

OP your situation is difficult to predict. As you point out, they have several conundrums to resolve, and may throw in the wildcard of eliminating both roles and outsourcing overseas. Another scenario is that the loss of you and your boss's knowledge/experience from the organisation, could make them consider the option of repurposing those skills elsewhere in the business, which might involve one person being willing to be made redundant, and the other person taking on a new role.

flowery Sat 30-Mar-19 12:58:35

The only commercially and legally sensible criteria for any employer to use for redundancy selection are criteria which will ensure the person or persons who will perform best in whichever roles are left are the ones who stay. Assessments of past performance are a vital part of making that decision. To try and select the best person for a remaining job whilst disregarding past performance is not sensible, is unrealistic and is more likely to lead to candidates thinking other, potentially discriminatory factors were taken into account instead.

daisychain01 Sat 30-Mar-19 13:23:40

In the OPs case, flowery, having reread their post, it seems that the company don't do formal performance reviews, so if no historic records are available to use, and if both employees have worked well, with no HR issues recorded, it could be a really tricky and contentious one to determine who is "less good". That's surely where cooperation and consensus between employer and employee would unlock a stalemate - as in, voluntary redundancy.

flowery Sat 30-Mar-19 13:33:48

Yes you are right. Doesn’t mean the principle of using performance as a selection criteria in a redundancy situation is unlawful, unethical or any of those things though!

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