A ‘selection pool’ is the group of employees who may be selected for any particular redundancy. For example, if a school has two cleaners and proposes to reduce that number to one, the selection pool would normally be the two cleaners.
If an employee is in a stand-alone role, they will generally be in a ‘pool of one’ on the basis that they are the only person who does the role which is at risk of redundancy. In this case, there is no need for any selection process, as there is only one employee potentially affected.
Schools will often be asked to consider ‘bumping’ by employees who are at risk of redundancy. This means considering whether it would be reasonable to move the ‘at risk’ employee into another role in the business and make that post-holder redundant instead. This is a particularly tricky area which needs to be considered carefully if it arises. Whether it is potentially appropriate will generally depend on factors such as the level of similarity between the roles, the respective levels of seniority, whether there has been any cross-over or interchange between the roles previously and the respective length of service of the employees in question.
Identifying the correct selection pool is vital, as it is one of the aspects of a redundancy process which an Employment Tribunal will scrutinise. Each potential redundancy situation should be considered on its own merits when it comes to devising the selection pool. If the employee raises any dispute around the selection pool which has been used at a redundancy consultation meeting, you must take time to consider this carefully. If you disagree with the employee’s view, you should give them a reasoned explanation as to why you disagree as part of the consultation process.
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