Legal Updates

Employment – Redundancy – Selection Criteria

In the recent case of McCormack and others v Sanmina Sci UK Ltd [2006], 16 claimants brought an action against their employer after a large redundancy exercise. The employer carried out employee consultation and the employees were given details of the proposed selection criteria. The criteria included appraisals, absence, overtime worked and critical skills. The claimants alleged that they had been unfairly dismissed and brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal.

The Employment Tribunal held that although the dismissals of the employees amounted to redundancy, their dismissals were unfair. The employer appealed arguing that it had legitimately applied its assessment criteria.

It was held by the Employment Appeals Tribunal that:-

  • The Employment Tribunal was not required to consider detailed evidence of the assessments relating to a redundancy. This would amount to carrying out the assessments afresh
  • The Employment Tribunal should limit itself to considering whether the selection criteria were fair and whether they had been fairly applied
  • Detailed scrutiny of individual assessments in order to establish whether there was a flaw in the selection process should not take place
  • These principles were applied to this case and, although there were some legal errors in the approach of the Employment Tribunal, it was found the outcome was largely unaffected.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal upheld the decision of unfair dismissal except in the cases of two of the claimants.

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© RT COOPERS, 2006. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.




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