British Aerospace plc v Green and Others: CA 18 Apr 1995

The employer was to make 530 members of its staff redundant. Each staff member was assessed and scored. The claimants said that the method of selection was unfair, and sought disclosure of the scores of all employees.
Held: It was wrong to order discovery of the forms of employees who had not been selected for redundancy where this would impose an excessive burden on the employer. The question was whether the company had adopted a fair procedure when assessing these jobs and had applied it fairly, and it was not for the Tribunal to substitute its own view. If a selection system is to function effectively, its workings should not be scrutinized officiously or subjected to a minute analysis. In this case the employee’s true objection would not be assisted by disclosure of results for other workers.
Waite LJ said: ‘The use of a marking system of the kind that was adopted in this case has become a well recognised aid to any fair process of redundancy selection . . One thing, however, is clear: if such a system is to function effectively, its workings are not to be scrutinised officiously. The whole tenor of the authorities to which I have already referred is to show, in both England and Scotland, the courts and tribunals (with substantial contribution from the lay membership of the latter) moving towards a clear recognition that if a graded assessment system is to achieve its purpose it must not be subjected to an over-minute analysis. That applies both at the stage when the system is being actually applied, and also at any later stage when its operation is being called into question before an industrial tribunal.’

Stuart-Smith, Waite, Millett LJJ
Independent 02-May-1995, Times 18-Apr-1995, [1995] EWCA Civ 26, [1995] IRLR 433, [1995] ICR 1006
England and Wales
CitedBuchanan v Tilcon Engineerng Ltd SCS 1983
The Lord President of the Court of Session said: ‘ In the event the appellant, apart from throwing out the suggestion that he might have been victimised because of dislike, merely expressed his concern that others, with even less seniority than he . .
CitedWilliams and Others v Compair Maxam Ltd EAT 22-Jan-1982
Four employees said that they had been dismissed for redundancy, and now appealed against rejection of their claims.
Held: The court set out the obligations on an employer in a redundancy situation, including the need to look for alternatives . .
CitedBuchanan v Tilcon Engineerng Ltd SCS 1983
The Lord President of the Court of Session said: ‘ In the event the appellant, apart from throwing out the suggestion that he might have been victimised because of dislike, merely expressed his concern that others, with even less seniority than he . .
CitedRolls Royce Motor Cars Ltd v Mair and others EAT 23-Mar-1993
A substantial number of redundancies had been achieved through a process of grading and marking. 153 applicants claimed that their selection had been unfair, many criticising the objectivity of the criteria and/or unfairness in their application. . .
CitedKing and Others v Eaton Ltd IHCS 1-Feb-1995
The applicants were four of 20 employees selected for redundancy. One complaint was that, although they had been given details of their own marks, they were no allowed to see the ratings for others; another was that the supervisors responsible for . .
CitedBoal and Another v Gullick Dobson Ltd EAT 7-Jun-1994
100 redundancies became inevitable. Pools of employees from which the selection would be made were created on an area basis. Workers in each pool were assessed for productivity, skill, quality of work, attendance, punctuality and sickness records by . .
CitedAshmore v British Coal Corporation CA 1990
The plaintiff was one of many female employees who complained to the industrial tribunal that she was paid less by the defendant than her male counterparts. Sample cases were selected for trial and the others stayed pending a decision. It was an . .
CitedBritish Railways Board v Natarajan EAT 1979
Arnold J considered when it was appropriate for the company’s confidential material to be disclosed to employee claimants in tribunal proceedings: ‘We think that before deciding whether an examination is necessary, the judge or chairman of the . .
CitedScience Research Council v Nasse; BL Cars Ltd (formerly Leyland Cars) v Voias HL 1-Nov-1979
Recent statutes had given redress to anyone suffering unlawful discrimination on account of race sex or trade union activities. An employee sought discovery of documents from his employer which might reveal such discrimination.
Held: The court . .

Cited by:
CitedLowe v Everest Ltd and others EAT 3-Aug-2001
The respondents had decided to make redundancies. They had two shifts of workers, and those eventually selected came predominantly from the one shift. The question was whether the method chosen for selection was fair or unfair. In cases of mass . .
CitedM Franks M P Sowerby G Howells, J W Raby v The Torrington Co Ltd EAT 19-Sep-2001
The applicants had been dismissed for redundancy. They appealed refusal of orders to disclose documents, which they contended would show that the scoring system chosen to make selections, had been manipulated to ensure their selection.
Held: . .
CitedBritish Steel Plc v Slater EAT 4-Nov-1995
. .
CitedParker v Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames and Another EAT 26-Apr-1996
. .
CitedSmiths Industries Aerospace and Defence Systems v Rawlings EAT 1-Aug-1996
. .
CitedChronos Richardson Ltd v W K Watson EAT 26-Mar-2001
EAT Unfair Dismissal – Procedural Fairness . .
CitedScott v Inland Revenue CA 2-Apr-2004
The employee had claimed damages for unfair dismissal. The Revenue had subsequently changed its policy on retirement, but did not disclose this to the claimant. The change would have altered the calculation of the damages.
Held: A calculation . .
CitedLook Ahead Housing and Care Ltd v Odili and Another EAT 28-Jan-2008
EAT Redundancy – Fairness
Unfair dismissal – Reason for dismissal including substantial other reason
Tribunal found that a dismissal for redundancy was in the circumstances unfair. The procedure for . .
CitedBascetta v Abbey National Plc EAT 20-Feb-2009
Where the ET relied, crucially on material in coming to its decision which did not form part of the explicitly pleaded case with which the appellant’s . .
CitedMcCormick v Short Brothers Plc NIIT 18-Jun-2009
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.78602