Selection order for dismissals and layoffs in detail

In the event of an individual or collective dismissal based on economic grounds, the employer cannot randomly select employees for redundancy (unless there is only one person with the role). The selection must be done by applying the ‘principle of reflection’. Pursuant to this principle, all employees with interchangeable jobs will be divided into age groups.

Interchangeable job roles are those that are equivalent with respect to duties, required knowledge, competence and experience. They must also be similar with respect to the level of the position and salary. It is important that the job roles be compared, not the employees themselves.  

The division is into five age groups: 15 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54, 55 plus.  The principle of reflection then uses a formula that selects in which age category an employee (or a percentage of employees) is to be made redundant. If two or more dismissals fall in the same group, the ‘last in first out’ principle applies. This system ensures that before and after the dismissals, the age balance in the workforce will remain the same.   

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Author: Bronsgeest Deur

Date: December 2019