23 March 2018
The EAT have held that in a redundancy situation there is no requirement for an employee to raise the issue of bumping in order for the employer to have to consider it.
Bumping is when an employee whose role is redundant is redeployed into another role and the person in that role is dismissed instead.
In the case of Mirab v Mentor Graphics (UK) Ltd the Claimant’s role as Sales Director was made redundant. He brought a claim at Tribunal for unfair dismissal. The Tribunal determined that his dismissal was fair and that the company had done enough in terms of looking at alternative employment. The Tribunal found that the company did not need to look at bumping any other employees at the lower position of Account Manager because the Claimant had not asked for this nor indicated that he would work at this level.
The Claimant appealed and the EAT held that the Tribunal was wrong to suggest that the only time a company should consider bumping was when the employee raised it. Instead they should have applied the band of reasonable responses test and looked at whether the company’s failure to consider bumping was within that band.
This decision highlights the importance of considering all options and circumstances when going through a redundancy process. If a decision is taken not to consider bumping then a careful record of this decision and why it was reached should be kept.