Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Pool of one employee held to be Unfair

27 February 2012 #Employment


Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal. However in order to be actually fair a fair procedure must followed and the dismissal must be within the band of reasonable responses open to the employer.

A fair procedure will usually involve, as a minimum, the employer:

  • Identifying a reasonable pool of employees who are at risk of redundancy;
  • Consulting with the at risk employees;
  • Selecting employees from the pool, based on objective criteria; and
  • Searching for suitable alternative employment for the selected employees.

In Capita Hartshead Ltd v Byard UKEAT/0445/11 the employer’s selection pool consisted of just one employee. 

The tribunal held that the employer`s decision to limit the size of the pool to one was not reasonable in the circumstances as other employees who did similar jobs to that employee should also have been included. The EAT upheld the tribunal’s decision that such a narrow pool resulted in an unfair dismissal of that employee.

In the course of its judgement, the EAT reviewed a number of cases in this area, and set out useful guidance for employers in such cases. Buddy also has a number of documents to help employers avoid falling foul of the law in the HR Resources section of the site.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at employmentunit@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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