The EAT has upheld a tribunal's decision that an employer was wrong to conclude that, because it was abolishing the position of HR manager, the redundancy selection pool only comprised one employee – the HR manager. The employer should have undertaken more meaningful, extensive consultation as to the size of the selection pool to assess whether others were at risk and this should have been discussed with the claimant.
It was held that the employer had failed properly to consult over whether a more junior employee, who held a position of which the claimant had previous experience, should also have been included in the redundancy selection pool. The HR Manager had previously carried out the junior employee's role and the junior employee had covered for the HR Manager when she was off sick. The EAT agreed with the tribunal's finding, but not its reasoning.
The fact the two employees could do each other's jobs was not sufficient reason to put them both in the selection pool. The EAT held that when considering "bumping" an employee holding a redundant position into a more junior employee's position (and making them redundant instead), the employer should consider whether or not there is a vacancy, how different the two jobs are, the difference in remuneration, the relative length of service of the employees and the qualifications of the employee at risk.
Fulcrum Pharma (Europe) Ltd v Bonassera and anor, EAT