Redundancy or another reason?

July 5th, 2024

A US software company has been ordered to pay a former senior sales director the equivalent of £142,000 for unfair dismissal.  Ireland’s Workplace Relations Commission found the complainant, Kevin Foley, had been dismissed “under the guise of a redundancy”. 

Redundancy is a term that is sometimes used colloquially to explain that a person has left a role for any reason.  Its true meaning is there is no further business need for a role.  For example, a continuing loss of work for a department may lead to a reduction in the number of employees working in that department.  Or there may be a business or workplace closure. 

Even where there is a true redundancy situation, any later dismissal may be unfair if the process followed is unreasonable. 

Elements of a fair redundancy process

A fair redundancy process will include, among other fact-dependant considerations: 

  • Considering alternatives to redundancy. 
  • Collective consultation, if 20 or more employees may be dismissed as redundant within a period of 90 days or less.
  • Pooling: correct grouping of affected employees based broadly on the similarities of their roles.
  • Objective or otherwise arguable selection criteria being used for candidate selection.  Affected employees should receive their individual scores and an explanation on how they were calculated, and they should be able to challenge their scores. 
  • Considering whether there are any other suitable alternative roles in the organisation for any affected employee.

Not every dismissal that is named a redundancy is a genuine redundancy. If in doubt, take legal advice. 

This blog was written by Ben Lindsay, Solicitor at didlaw.


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