Quick tip today is about selection criteria on redundancy consultations and redundancy processes. Obviously, the law tells us that we've got to make sure that we don't discriminate against protected characteristics. That's things like sex, race, disability, religious beliefs - things like that. Obviously that’s given and it’s absolutely critical that we ensure that we don't discriminate against anybody.
For me, there's also another level - there's the moral obligation as well as the legal obligation. When you think what you're doing in redundancy, you've got people's lives in your hands. It's the most devastating time of someone's life often. Having been there twice myself (being made redundant twice), and having unfortunately made thousands of people redundant in my career, I've always found that redundancy is one of the most difficult things that you can deal with.
Ultimately people are potentially losing their jobs. There’s a difference between dismissing somebody for redundancy and dismissing somebody for gross misconduct (for example). In the case of gross misconduct they've done something to deserve it. With redundancy they haven't - it's not the employee’s fault. It's the unfortunate business circumstances that mean they could be losing their jobs.
As managers, we have a real moral obligation as well to make sure it's as fair and as objective as possible. I really would encourage you to look at your selection criteria and ensure that the criteria is as objective as possible.
Then when you apply that criteria - whatever it is - to make sure that there's absolutely no bias, whether that's conscious or unconscious bias. “Blue-eyed boy syndrome” - things like that - you've got to make sure is not in there.
At the end of the day you're making decisions about who keeps their jobs and who unfortunately loses their jobs. That's big change for everybody involved. It's really important that you can sleep at night and say, “We did as fair and objective a selection criteria as we could.”
I really would urge people to ensure that whatever decisions are being made are being checked by some kind of independent person who's got no bias and no issues about the organisation or the individuals involved. That way you're making sure that whatever selection criteria you have, whatever decisions are made on people's lives is as fair and as objective as possible.
I hope that helps. Obviously, if you need any help with this or workplace mediations, by all means give us a call.