Law & Legislation

Common Selection Criteria for Redundancy

employee at doctors office

Redundancies can be very challenging and upsetting, both for the people making them, and the people affected by them.


Many companies aim to avoid making redundancies at all costs, but there are times when it is simply unavoidable.


One of the main concerns when making redundancies, is the redundancy selection process; or in other words:


“How do I decide who should stay and who should go?”


Naturally, you shouldn’t make the decision based on criteria such as age, race, sex, or how much you like a person. The best way to create a redundancy selection pool is to use an impartial, fair methodology that ensures the most objective selection techniques possible.


The following list of redundancy selection criteria examples outlines some of the most common techniques that companies use when trying to select the people who will leave the company, while remaining as fair as possible.


Last In, First Out


This is possibly the easiest, most impartial way to build a redundancy selection pool, as it is based on simple facts – the length of time each person has worked for the company. Those with the least time served are the first on the list, and although this may seem a little ‘cold’, it is certainly fair.


One problem with this method, however, is that you may find yourself having to let some of your top talent go – time served does necessarily equal the business impact a person offers.


Self-Selection (Voluntary Redundancy)


This method puts the decision into the hands of your people, and gives your employees the chance to volunteer for redundancy themselves.


This method probably carries the least amount of tension amongst your workforce, as those who volunteer for redundancy are less likely to be upset by the decision than those being ‘forced’.


This method still comes with the caveats, however – what if one of your most valuable employees chooses to leave? Or what if nobody decides to volunteer?


Disciplinary Records


You might choose to build your redundancy selection pool based on behaviour – i.e. the employees with the most disciplinary hearings on their record might be the employees you choose to lose.


Although this method rewards employees who follow company policies and work hard, it doesn’t always ensure you’re keeping your most profitable people. You should also be careful of conflict caused by people who feel their disciplinary records were unfairly earned in the first place.


Appraisal Records


This technique is similar in principle to the one outlined above, but instead of comparing negatives, you’re comparing positives – you’re choosing to keep people based on great performance records, rather than choosing to remove people based on poor behavioural records.


This is definitely a more positive and merit-based approach, but you should be careful when comparing appraisal records – different managers might record appraisals differently to one another, and so appraisal records may not necessarily give an accurate like-for-like comparison.


Skills & Qualifications


This method helps you decide who stays based on who looks best ‘on paper’.


Employees with more qualifications and proven skills relating to the job they do are given priority, whereas those who are less qualified for their role are put forward for redundancy.


Although fairly objective, this technique again doesn’t always show you who performs best at their role – qualifications are good indicators of skills and abilities, but not firm proof.


How Would YOU Build a Redundancy Selection Pool?


Every company works differently, and providing you are not discriminating or breaking any regulations as set by your county’s government, there is no right or wrong way of choosing who to make redundant.


How would you go about it? Let us know in the comments below.


If you live in the UK and are facing redundancy, you can find a lot of useful information about your rights as an employee by visiting: