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A marketing manager who was made redundant after working for almost 30 years for the same employer has won the right to compensation after a tribunal pinpointed deficiencies in the redundancy procedure followed and found that her dismissal was unfair (East Lancashire Masonic Hall Co. Limited and Others v Buckley).
East Lancashire Masonic Hall Co. Limited was facing serious financial difficulties and had decided that one of its two managers had to go. In the event, Mrs Buckley was selected for redundancy whilst her colleague kept his job.
Mrs Buckley claimed that her dismissal was unfair.
The Employment Tribunal (ET) found that redundancy was a potentially fair reason for her dismissal. Nevertheless, Mrs Buckley's dismissal was ruled unfair on the basis that the selection procedure employed was unreasonable. Amongst other things, the ET considered that it was wrong that marketing skills – perceived as being one of her strengths and a weakness of her colleague – were not treated as a selection criterion.
In ruling upon the company’s challenge to that decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected Mrs Buckley's plea that the procedure had been a sham in that the selection criteria had been drawn up deliberately to secure a particular outcome. However, in dismissing the company’s appeal, it found that there were numerous shortcomings in the selection procedure and the ET's finding of unfair dismissal was not perverse.