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Making the unpopular employee redundant – tips for HR

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HC Online | 10 Feb 2016, 10:11 AM Agree 0
As organisations cut costs, the need for redundancies arises. Is selecting the unpopular employee opening up the floor for an unfair dismissal case?
  • HR Dude | 10 Feb 2016, 12:27 PM Agree 0
    I'm surprised the obvious issue isn't addressed here. If you fire an employee for being 'unpopular' then they might argue that there was bullying involved. Already you have a situation where someone is 'on the out' with the group, if these behaviors include other exclusions, then perhaps they might have a reason to feel that termination was the result of repeated bullying from their team, including malicious rumors. That would be the real risk for me should this course of action be taken.
  • Sandy Hutchison | 10 Feb 2016, 04:16 PM Agree 0
    I would add that it should be a decision based on the role, and not the employee. A true redundancy should be as a result of the role and tasks related to the role, no longer relevant or required by the business, or are being delivered in a different manner. Selection of staff for redundancy shouldn't be based on popularity, but rather if their skills are needed by the business. It is also important not to mix performance discussions and redundancies. If there are performance issues, they need to be performance managed through a formal documented process. Many people try to take the easy way out and make someone redundant that isn't performing, but it can backfire from a legal and tax point of view, if it's not deemed a true redundancy.
  • Howard | 11 Feb 2016, 11:48 AM Agree 0
    I agree with HR Dude and Sandy: this seems like very risky advice to me...
  • | 11 Feb 2016, 01:45 PM Agree 0
    If there is more than one person doing the same job and this is a valid reason to select them I say go for it. In particular I have one person in a team who has caused the entire team to turnover twice because of her behaviour but when we try and pinpoint what it is everyone says "it's hard to explain specifics, it's just how she makes you feel..." I will keep this in mind in the event we downsize for sure!
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