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Redundancy and Pools of One

Posted on August 31, 2012

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Redundancy and the single Bar-Steward:

When selecting staff for redundancy, the employer should first select a pool of candidates from which the redundancy will be selected. However sometimes there will only be one person in the redundancy pool. Does that render the redundancy unfair?


In Wrexham Golf Co Ltd v Ingham this month in the EAT, a gulf club made its sole bar steward redundant. The Employment Tribunal held that the dismissal was unfair because the Club had not considered any sort of selection pool.


The EAT overturned the finding of Unfair Dismissal. The Tribunal had not applied the ‘range of reasonable responses’ test to the question of whether it was reasonable for the Club to only put the one person at risk of redundancy.


In other words, it may be reasonable for the employer to only put one person at risk of redundancies. However it’s still a good idea for employers to first ask what the appropriate redundancy pool is, and to be able to justify the decision if asked.


If there was only one bar-steward, and the bar was closing, then it would probably be reasonable only to put him at risk of redundancy. If there were five bar-stewards, and only one was to be made redundant, ordinarily all five should be put at risk. If the club wanted to reduce the headcount within catering and a rota of kitchen staff would cover the bar in future, a wider pool may have been appropriate.


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