A Guide To The Selection Criteria For Making Redundancies

  • March 13, 2024
Man upset at computer

A guide to the selection criteria for making redundancies

Making redundancies is a challenging and often stressful process for both employers and employees. It involves reducing the workforce due to various reasons, such as changes in business needs, financial constraints, or technological advancements. However, the process of selecting which employees to make redundant must be conducted fairly and legally. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the essential selection criteria for making redundancies to ensure a transparent and fair process.

Fair and objective criteria

One of the key principles in making redundancies is fairness. Employers must establish clear, objective, and non-discriminatory criteria for selecting employees for redundancy. Common criteria include performance, skills, qualifications, disciplinary records, and attendance. These criteria should be applied consistently across the affected workforce to avoid discrimination claims.

Seniority and length of service

Many companies consider length of service or seniority as a selection criterion for redundancies. This means that newer employees or those with less seniority may be more likely to face redundancy. While this can be a straightforward and objective criterion, it may not always align with retaining the most skilled or suitable employees for the company's future needs.

Skills and qualifications

Assessing employees based on their skills and qualifications can help ensure that the retained workforce still has the necessary expertise and skills to meet the company's requirements. It’s crucial to identify which skills and qualifications are most critical for the future success of the business and use these criteria in the selection process.


Evaluating an employee's performance can be a valid selection criterion for redundancies. It's essential to have a strong performance appraisal system in place to make this assessment fair and accurate. Make sure to use documentation of performance reviews and feedback as evidence to support the decision-making process.

Disciplinary records

An employee's disciplinary record can also be something to consider when making redundancies. This criteria is often used when a company is restructuring due to behavioural issues or misconduct. It’s crucial to ensure that any disciplinary actions taken were fair and well-documented.

Attendance and absences

High levels of absence can disrupt business operations and may be a legitimate reason for redundancy selection. However, it's essential to consider whether the absences were due to legitimate reasons, such as illness or family emergencies, before using this criterion.

Consultation and communication

Before making any redundancies, it’s crucial to engage in meaningful consultation with affected employees. Discussing the selection criteria and the reasons for redundancy can help alleviate concerns and ensure that the process is transparent and well-understood.

Legal compliance

Finally, it’s essential to ensure that the redundancy process complies with all relevant employment laws and regulations. Seek legal advice if necessary to avoid costly legal challenges and penalties.

Making redundancies is a difficult decision that should be made with careful consideration and adherence to fair and transparent selection criteria. Employers must prioritise fairness, objectivity, and legality throughout the process to protect the rights and well-being of their employees. Effective communication, consultation, and exploring alternative options can help minimise the negative impact of redundancies on both the workforce and the organisation as a whole.

For more advice, check out our article on how to approach making employees redundant.

Searching for a new job? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.