Establishing a 'pool of one' for redundancy at the outset may be reasonable in some circumstances.
The EAT has confirmed that an employer may select a single employee for redundancy without considering the possibility of widening the pool for selection, provided that this decision falls within the band of reasonable responses.
In this case, the employer dismissed its sole bar steward for redundancy. The dismissal was found to be unfair on the basis that the employer had decided from the outset to limit the selection pool to this employee alone.
The EAT remitted this case back to the Tribunal for a fresh hearing on the basis that the Tribunal should have considered whether, having regard to the particular circumstances of the case and the nature of the role, it was reasonable for the Respondent not to consider developing a wider pool.
Whether it is appropriate not to consider a wider selection pool will be fact sensitive and we would recommend that employers continue to work on the premise that they should be able to demonstrate before a tribunal that they genuinely applied their mind to the issue of a reasonable pool for selection.
The full case can be found here (Case name: Wrexham Golf Co Ltd v Ingham UKEAT/0190/12/RN).