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Nicholls v Rockwell Automation Ltd [2012] EAT

In cases of redundancy, as long as overall the redundancy criteria are reasonable,  the law does not allow for every aspect of a marking scheme to be objectively verifiable as fair and accurate.

Mr Nicholls had been employed by Rockwell as a field service engineer (“FSE”) since 1989 until his dismissal in 2010.  Since 2005 he worked part time but had worked overtime on a number of occasions. To save on costs Rockwell decided that it was necessary to make some of the 11 FSEs employed nationally redundant. In June 2010 the consultation process began. Applying the complex redundancy criteria Mr Nicholls scored the lowest by quite some way, particularly in relation to "competency in role". He was marked down in relation to 'flexibility' under this head, but flexibility was also an issue under the head of "skills and ability". He was dismissed for redundancy on the basis of these scores. He appealed but lost his appeal. He successfully claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed

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