The law regarding the use of length of service as a factor in redundancy procedures has been clarified for redundancy lawyers in a Court of Appeal hearing.
In the case regarding car manufacturers Rolls Royce, the court confirmed that the length of time an employee had worked for the company was an acceptable consideration for a redundancy lawyer to make.
Not age discrimination, redundancy lawyers told
Redundancy lawyers representing Rolls Royce claimed that using length of service as selection criteria fell fowl of Age Regulations as it discriminated against younger employees. However, the court agreed with the argument of redundancy lawyers Thompsons, representing trade union Unite, who said that despite indirect discrimination the criteria was a useful indicator of an employee's loyalty and expertise.
Redundancy lawyers outline consequences
Redundancy lawyers say businesses are now free to use length of service as one of several criteria when making selections for redundancy. In the case of Rolls Royce, redundancy lawyers also gave scores to employees according to achievement, self-motivation, expertise, versatility and personal contribution.
However, redundancy lawyers are advising that, since the decision was made by the High Court rather than an employment tribunal, the decision be taken with a pinch of salt.
Nevertheless, redundancy lawyers Lovells have said "it should be seen as welcome news for employers, as a successful appeal would have meant reworking many commonly used selection matrices to exclude references to length of service."
If you are an employer and wish to confirm the legality of your selection criteria or an employee who believes they have been discriminated against during redundancy proceedings you are advised to consult a redundancy lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity.
NB: None of this information should be construed as legal advice