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Archive for April 21st, 2011

The answer will depend on whether there is some overlap between the roles and/or whether or not the remaining post will pick up some of the orphaned tasks after the other job has been made redundant.

If so, there is a need to place both employees in the pool even though only one job is at risk and even though both jobs have different titles/levels of seniority.

Job titles shouldn’t dictate who is in the redundancy pool. Answers to the question ‘who does what?’ are far more important.

If there is a significant overlap between two or more employees’ workload then it would be unfair to place only one of them in the pool.

If employers are seeking to make cost savings by cutting a senior role and require the junior role to pick up some of the slack, and/or the senior employee could do the junior role, then discuss the pool with the affected employee before you make a decision.

If the senior employee is willing to accept the reduced pay and benefits package attached to the junior role then you can apply the practice known as ‘bumping’ where the first employee (whose post is made redundant)  ‘bumps’ a second employee out of their role so that the second employee is made redundant instead of the first. It seems unfair but it is designed to ensure that organisations can retain the best staff rather than become slaves to procedure.

So, if the senior employee wants to be considered for the junior role, then both the senior and junior employee should be in the pool before you make the senior role redundant.

Fulcrum Pharma (Europe) Ltd v Bonassera (EAT) decided similar facts in November last year and underlined the need for employers to ask employees whether they would consider taking a lower paid post before confirming the ‘pool’. The failure to properly consult over these issues with Ms Bonassera resulted in an unfair dismissal finding against the employer.

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