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This might seem like an odd way to introduce this subject (again) but ACAS have updated their guidance on collective redundancy following changes in the law that came into effect in April this year and it is  a particular useful guide I recommend you to download.

Of particular use to SME employers is the redundancy selection (yes, SME not just the big employers)  because it is of use in redundancy situations AND it can be used in a wide variety of workplace settings.  This includes the obvious benefit of measuring work place performance.

Using a matrix is increasingly popular because they:

  1. contain agreed factors that can be  applied to all individuals (although employers sometimes use a
  2. different matrix for different groups  of employers – for example, the engineering team might have a
  3. different one from the sales team)
  4. can be easily explained to all staff in advance – it also helps if employee representatives have been consulted when drawing them up
  5. are ‘felt fair’ by all employees
  6. give a clear, structured and consistent system for managing selection issues
  7. can be used at tribunals to defend an employer’s decision.

Before you rush off to start your matrix, it is worth noting one very CRUCIAL factor: the issue of weighting (i., e. how you compare disciplinary record with, for example, performance). This is achieved by weighting the number of available points.  See EDC Technology for a free and simple download that illustrates how to start the wighting process.

Below I have listed the key areas included in a typical matrix (you can find this list on page 48 of the ACAS guide).

Work Performance

Outstanding – consistently exceeds company standard

Exceeds objectives of the role

Meets all objectives of the role

Meets some objectives of the role

Fails to meet objectives of the role

Skill/Competence

Fully competent, multi-skilled, supports others on regular basis

Fully competent in current role

Competent in most aspects of current role, requires some supervision

Some competence in role, requires regular supervision and guidance

Cannot function without close support and/or supervision

Disciplinary record

No record of disciplinary action

Record of informal disciplinary action

Verbal warning current

Written warning current

Final written warning current

Attendance record

No recorded absence

Some absence but below average for selection pool (or company)

Attendance in line with company (or selection pool) average

Absence level above average for selection pool (or company)

High/unacceptable level of absence

Remember that absence and disciplinary matters need careful consideration, hence they will have a lower weighting than, for example, performance and note that they use “pool” comparrisons.

Download the full guidance here: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=747
You can find the redundancy checklist here:  http://www.acas.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=976&p=0
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