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When you have more employees than the roles available, you may need to ‘pool’ those employees carrying out the at-risk roles to fairly decide who remains at risk. It’s usually the case that you’ll want to restrict the pool as much as possible. Here are our thoughts:

Be clear on the roles at risk – identifying which roles need to be pooled isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Do you have different job titles for the same roles? Have job titles and job descriptions failed to keep up with the roles individuals are actually doing? This all needs to be considered.

Identify the individuals carrying out the roles at risk – do a number of individuals interchange between different roles as they have a wide skill set? In which case would it be reasonable to include all such individuals within the pool.

Consider individuals at other sites doing the same at-risk roles – where individuals move around sites and all do the role that is at risk, consider whether each of those individuals needs to be pooled.

Bumping – if you haven’t heard of ‘bumping’ you’ll need to learn fast! Bumping occurs where an at-risk employee is retained in favour of an employee who isn’t at risk (usually as they have better skills for the retained role). While there is no obligation to bump, you need to consider whether it’s appropriate to do so and make a note of your thought process.

Consult – if you have more employees than the number of roles at risk you’ll need to consult on whether you should pool (as in this case). A fair redundancy process includes giving individuals the right to challenge the pool before scoring at-risk individuals.

If you need advice or support with ‘pooling’ employees, Intelligent Employment is here to help – find out more


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (24 November 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

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