County Print v Page
EAT holds that fair consultation in a redundancy exercise involves explaining scoring to employees and giving them chance to comment on the scores.
The EAT in this case held that an Employment Tribunal had been entitled to make a finding of unfair dismissal where the employer had failed to give the employee an explanation of why he received lower scores than two other employees who were in his pool of relevant employees identified as “at risk” of redundancy. However, the EAT did not go so far as to state that this was a principle that should be applied in every case involving redundancy dismissals. It was not the Tribunal’s role to embark on “microscopic analysis” of an employer’s scoring mechanisms.
This decision adds further colour to the “procedural fairness” guidelines for redundancy dismissals laid down in the leading case of Polkey v AE Drayton Services Limited (“Polkey”). It provides useful guidance for Employment Tribunals and employers regarding the level of employee consultation required in relation to the scoring of employees who are subject to a selection process in respect of an “at risk” pool. The decision suggests that, while a Tribunal should not analyse in minute detail the scoring process adopted by an employer, it will be a fundamental requirement for a fair redundancy dismissal that the employee has been informed by the employer of the reasons why they received lower scores than their colleague(s), and that they be given an opportunity to comment on those reasons.