Selection for redundancy: keeping it fair

Redundancy is one of the five potentially fair reasons for dismissal, but unfair selection can lead to an individual claiming unfair dismissal.

To be fair any redundancies must be:

• genuine

• after consultation

• in accordance with any procedures laid down by the employer

• after considering all avenues for alternative work with that employer.

Redundancies may be unfair if the selection criteria are not fair and objective.

Commonly used methods include:

last in, first out – but this could be discriminatory if only young people are made redundant

asking for volunteers – self-selection but be careful not to limit it to older people as this would be discriminatory

disciplinary records – care needs to be taken to ensure this is truly objective and not just a way of getting rid of a disliked employee


asking employees to reapply for their roles – commonly used where roles are changed to take account of a reduction in numbers.