Lesson 9 – the Government Plans and Predicts the Future

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Much has been made recently regarding the legitimacy of redundancy pools of just one employee. The most recent issue to hit the tribunal in this regard is whether the  ‘range of reasonable responses’ test applies to the decision to use a ‘pool’ of one in a redundancy selection exercise?

The EAT in Wrexham Golf Co Ltd v Ingham says yes, it does. The golf club had dismissed the claimant, its sole bar steward for redundancy only for the  tribunal to find the dismissal unfair. The tribunal stated that the club had not considered any sort of selection pool. Thankfully for employers, the EAT overturned the finding of unfair dismissal. The EAT noted the tribunal had not applied the ‘range of reasonable responses’ test to the question of whether it was reasonable for the club to focus on the claimant alone as the person at risk of redundancy. The EAT suggested the tribunal should have asked itself whether it was reasonable for the golf club not to have considered selection from a wider range of employees than just the claimant.

This is a helpful case for employers who have employees they are wishing to make redundant occupying discreet and ‘one off’ roles. It will not always be necessary to open up redundancy pools if the facts of a situation allow the employer to clearly distinguish one person’s role from others. Just as armchair enthusiasts can differentiate between the gifts of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah so employers should be free to differentiate unique roles from more common roles in a redundancy process.

For more information, help or advice please contact Tim Davies on 0191 211 7927 or email [email protected].