The employer’s selection process was divided into two parts. The first involved a senior HR official assessing service, absence, sickness days and discipline, which were generally objective and discoverable from personnel files. The second and weighted part of the process involved a line manger subjectively assessing performance, commitment and team working as the line manager had worked with all the staff and knew their strengths and weaknesses. The process was not discussed with the trade union nor were the details explained to the employees.
The EAT held that the process fell outside the band of reasonable responses for the key criteria to be left to one person who then did not support his findings by reference to the personnel files and had given no indication how he had made his choice.
This is a salutary lesson for any employers applying selection criteria in a redundancy exercise to consider the terms of reference and be aware that they may be taken to task over the methodology adopted.
E-Zec Medical Transport Service Ltd v Gregory, EAT