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Sufficient information must be given to justify scores

 




Sufficient
information must be given to justify scores

In Pinewood Repro Ltd t/a County Print v Page, the EAT held that to constitute a fair selection for redundancy an employee should be provided with sufficient  information to enable him to challenge the scores given to him in the redundancy selection exercise.

Mr Page received details of the matrix scoring system used in a redundancy selection exercise which showed his marks overall against each selection criteria. He received the lowest scores. Mr Page questioned whether those awarding the scores were the best qualified to do so. He also asked for a further explanation as to how the scores had been arrived at. He received no answers to his satisfaction.  

While those who had conducted the selection exercise did give evidence at the tribunal as to how the scores were arrived at, this was “after the event”. The Tribunal therefore found that the failure to provide an explanation of the scores at the time when Mr Page believed they were open to challenge, made Mr Page’s dismissal procedurally and substantively unfair.

Pinewood’s appeal to the EAT was rejected.  R v British Coal Corporation and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry ex parte Price and ors [1994] IRLR 72, set out the requirements for a “fair consultation” as giving the body consulted a fair and proper opportunity to understand fully the matters about which it is being consulted, and to express its views on those subjects, with the consultor thereafter considering those views properly and genuinely. While this did not necessarily mean that an employer must always provide an explanation of how an individual’s score has been arrived at, it did mean that an employee must be given sufficient information to enable him to challenge the scores allocated to him.

October 2010

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