Making staff redundant

Last updated: 8 December 2017

Compulsory redundancy

If you decide you need to make compulsory redundancies, you must:

  • identify which employees will be made redundant
  • make sure you select people fairly - don't discriminate

Fair selection criteria

Fair reasons for selecting employees for redundancy include:

  • skills, qualifications and aptitude
  • standard of work and/or performance
  • attendance
  • disciplinary record

You could also select employees based on their length of service ('last in, first out').

You can only do this if you can justify it - otherwise this could be indirect discrimination if it affects one group of people more than another.

You shouldn't rely solely on length of service as your only selection criteria - this is likely to be age discrimination.

Unfair selection criteria

Some selection criteria are automatically unfair. You must not select an employee for redundancy based on any of the following reasons:

  • pregnancy: including all reasons relating to maternity
  • family: including parental leave, paternity leave (birth and adoption), adoption leave or time off for dependants
  • acting as an employee representative
  • acting as a trade union representative
  • joining or not joining a trade union
  • being a part-time or fixed-term employee
  • their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
  • pay and working hours: including the Working Time Regulations, annual leave and the National Minimum Wage
You must consult employees in a redundancy situation - if you don't, any redundancies you make will almost certainly be unfair and you could be taken to an employment tribunal.
Making staff redundant
Compulsory redundancy