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Redundancy series update #7 – when do you need to pool?

Posted on: September 1st, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

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 or job descriptions for the same roles, have job titles and job descriptions not been amended to keep up with the roles individuals are actually doing? This all needs to be considered.

Identify the individuals carrying out the pooled roles – 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 – once you’ve decided on your pool, you’ll need to ensure that you discuss the pool with at risk individuals before going ahead and applying a selection criteria. A fair redundancy process includes giving individuals the right to challenge the pool before scoring at risk individuals.

Get in touch if you need support or advice on who to include in your pool. In update #8 of this series, we’re going to be looking at creating fair selection criteria. 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (01 September 2020), 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.