Competitive Interview Process During Redundancy

SUMMARY OF CASE

In Gwynedd Council v Barratt, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered the fairness of using a competitive interview process in a redundancy exercise. The claimants were teachers that were made redundant after a reorganisation of school services. As part of the redundancy exercise, the school held a competitive interview process for jobs at a new school rather than applying selection criteria or scoring.

HOW WILL THIS IMPACT EMPLOYERS?

The case is a clear warning to employers that in certain circumstances requiring employees to undergo a competitive interview process in a redundancy situation is likely to be unfair.

However, the comments of the EAT did not suggest this would always be the case. What was significant in this case was that the employees were having to apply for the same or substantially similar jobs to those they had already occupied.

Comments from the EAT have left open the possibility that a competitive interview process as part of a redundancy exercise may be fair, if the new roles are substantially different from the old roles, for instance as part of a company reorganisation.

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