Skills are the key to redundancy selection

skills and competencies are more important than the job done when it comes to
making redundancies according to a report released today by Personnel Today’s
sister publication IRS Employment Review.

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

respondents said they had made employees redundant in the past two years.
Overall, 36 per cent of the total redundancies reported by employers were in
manufacturing, 10 per cent were in public services and 55 per cent were in the
services sector.

of employers surveyed did not report any productivity improvements as a result
of job losses. Almost two thirds 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 also believed that
redundancies had led to the loss of organisational skills and knowledge in
their workplace.


● 54 per cent of respondents who had made redundancies
said that voluntary redundancy was used while 76 per cent had made compulsory

● Almost half reported that workforce cuts were
expected in the coming year. Of these, 37 per cent were in the services sector,
39 per cent in manufacturing or production companies, and 22 per cent in the
public sector

● A quarter of employers said that they use a
straightforward ‘last in, first out’ method of selection for redundancy. Fewer
than 2 per cent of employers used length of service exclusively. More than half
use length of service as a factor alongside the job done by the employee or
their skills and competence

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

● More than half of employers surveyed thought the
forthcoming Information and Consultation Directive would have little impact on
the way they currently consult and provide information to employees in a
redundancy situation

● 84 per cent of employers surveyed made no changes to
their redundancy pay arrangements over the past two years

● 86 per cent indicated that they would provide
reasonable time off or as much as staff need to look for employment elsewhere.

Employment Review managing editor Mark Crail said: “The survey comes at a time
when the pace of economic growth is picking up, but manufacturing unions in
particular still have cause to highlight the continuing level of redundancies
in their sector.

because redundancy management is an area of some experience for many HR
managers, most employers in our survey believe that they are managing it
well," he said.

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

Mike Berry





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