Being selected for redundancy

Being selected for redundancy

Your employer should use a fair and objective way of selecting people to make redundant.

This means that it should be based on some objective (unbiased and factual) reasons why you were selected and other employees were not selected.

Methods of selection

If a method for deciding redundancies has been agreed with a trade union, your employer should follow it.

It is up to your employer which selection criteria they use, as long as they can show that they are fair and reasonable.

The most commonly used selection methods are:

  • The ‘last in, first out’ method, where the newest member of staff is the first one to go
  • Asking if employees want to volunteer for redundancy, known as voluntary redundancy
  • A points system, where all employees doing the same job are ranked by objective criteria (could include attendance record, standard of work, skills and qualifications).

Unfair selection

Your employer cannot select you for redundancy unless they can prove they followed a fair process.

Your employer cannot select you for redundancy for personal or non-job-related reasons.

They must be able to show the objective reasons (unbiased and factual reasons) why you were selected and other employees were not selected.

Grounds that are always unfair

Under the unfair dismissals legislation, it is unfair if you are selected for redundancy based on certain specific grounds, including:

  • Trade union activity
  • Pregnancy
  • Religious
  • Political opinions

Your employer cannot make you redundant using any of the 9 grounds for discrimination, including your age, gender, race or sexual orientation.

If you are unfairly selected for redundancy

Your employer should use fair and reasonable selection criteria in choosing people to make redundant – see above.

You are unfairly selected

If you feel that your employer has selected you unfairly, you are entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

Your employer does not follow their process

Examples of these situations might include:

  • Where the custom and practice in your workplace has been last in, first out and your selection did not follow this procedure
  • Where your contract of employment sets out criteria for selection which were not followed

More information

You can get more information about your employment rights from the WRC. You can contact their Information and Customer service – see below.

The laws on redundancy are set out in the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967–2014

Redundancy Payments Section

Department of Social Protection

Ground Floor
Gandon House
Amiens Street
Dublin 1
D01 A361

Tel: (01) 673 4500 or 0818 111 112
Page edited: 2 June 2022