Competencies and skills form basis of redundancy selection

skills and competencies are more important than the jobs they do when people
are selected for redundancy, a new report finds.

report, released by Personnel Today’s sister publication IRS Employment Review,
shows that line managers’ verdicts are crucial during the selection process.

the law on redundancy selection states that the procedure used must be fair and
reasonably applied, the survey of 89 private and public sector employers shows
that the factors affecting the decision vary greatly.

respondents (87 per cent) said they had made employees redundant in the past
two years. These varied from individual redundancies to large-scale job losses,
such as the 1,000 employees who were made redundant by a UK charity, and 800
staff made redundant by a major manufacturing company.

of employers surveyed did not report any productivity improvements as a result
of job losses. Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of employers found that redundancies
had led to lower morale, but one in three believed that the productivity of
their organisation had improved. A smaller, but still significant number of
employers also believed that redundancies had led to the loss of organisational
skills and organisational memory in their workplaces.

Employment Review managing editor, Mark Crail, said: “Perhaps because
redundancy management is an area of some experience for many HR managers, most
employers in our survey believe they are managing it well. But what employers
highlight as an area for improvement in our survey – and what they will need to
pay more attention to when the Information and Consultation Directive is phased
in from March 2005 – is communication and consultation with employees.”

Quentin reade


Just over half (54 per cent) of the survey respondents who had made
redundancies said that voluntary redundancy was used, while 76 per cent had
made compulsory redundancies. Of the total, 32 (41 per cent) of organisations
had used both methods

Almost half (46 per cent) of the respondents reported that workforce cuts were
expected over the coming year

Twenty-one (24 per cent) employers said they used a straightforward ‘last in,
first out’ (LIFO) method of selection for redundancy. Fewer than 2 per cent of
employers used length of service exclusively. More than half (53 per cent) used
length of service as a factor alongside the job done by the employee or their
level of skills and competencies. Others mentioned that it was used ‘as a last

More than half the employers surveyed thought the forthcoming Information and
Consultation Directive would not have any effect on the way they currently
consult and provide information to staff in a redundancy situation

For those employers who use attendance as a criterion (60 per cent of the
sample), certified absence appears to count against an employee in the
selection process almost as much as unauthorised absence. Most employers (81
per cent) said that leave covered by a doctor’s certificate would count against
a worker, and 87 per cent said that self-certified leave would do so

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