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Croner-i: What is “bumping” in redundancy?

Posted by Croner-i team on 26-Jun-2017 11:52:33

Q What is “bumping” in redundancy? I have been told that I must consider it during the redundancy process. Is this correct?

A “Bumping” (or sometimes called a “transferred redundancy”) describes a situation where an employee whose role is not actually redundant is dismissed as redundant and the vacant post is filled by an employee whose post is actually redundant.

Employers may often use it to retain a senior or valued employee whose skills and experience they wish to retain. A more junior employee, whose post was not originally “at risk” is now declared redundant, with the senior employee slotting into the junior employee’s post.

It is a tricky area of employment law and often causes consternation and misunderstanding among the workforce. Although there is no legal obligation on the employer to consider “bumping”, case law (see Fulcrum Pharma (Europe) Ltd v Bonassera [2010] UKEAT/ 0198/10) appears to suggest that the onus is on the employer actually to raise the issue of bumping with the potentially redundant employee during the consultation period and that a failure to do so may render the dismissal unfair. You should certainly consider it. Whether it is fair will be a matter of fact to be determined by a tribunal in each case.

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