This site is intended for health professionals only

Practice dilemma: Selecting a member of staff for redundancy

Changes to QoF and MPIG have reduced our partnership income, so we need to cut costs and lower our headcount by about five employees. What are the legal requirements around selecting staff for redundancy?

You will firstly need to carefully identify which types of employee you have a reduced requirement for. Each of these types of employee will then form a 'pool', from which provisional selection for redundancy will be made.

Selection criteria should be objective and be capable of being verified e.g. using attendance, performance and other personnel records where at all possible. Where subjective criteria cannot be avoided, try to get more than one opinion. Take care not to use criteria that could be discriminatory. It may also be that different criteria are needed for different pools.

The employees in each pool should then be scored fairly against each of the criteria. Criteria can be weighted if appropriate. How a particular score is reached, and any weighting, should be as transparent as possible.

A series of consultation meetings will need to take place with employees provisionally selected for redundancy. The reason for redundancies, the pools, selection and scoring should all be discussed, along with any other concerns they have. You should also explore whether there are any ways in which redundancies can be avoided. It is important that the decision to terminate is not made until the end of the consultation process.

Redundant employees will be entitled to their notice pay, a statutory redundancy payment (and any enhanced payment that their contract of employment may provide for) and any accrued holiday they have not taken.

Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards