As the impact of Covid 19 washes through the economy and employers get a clear picture of how their business needs to be shaped to reflect customer needs, the focus is drifting away from furlough to being more on redundancy.

What is a skills matrix and why is it used in Redundancy?

Skills matrixes are important when undertaking redundancy consultations and form part of the essential actions an employer should use when selecting staff for redundancy – especially where a pool of potential employees exist.

A pool is a term used to refer to a group of workers who perform similar work or have similar skills and experience and often comes to light when an employer is required to reduce headcount amongst a certain type of work or within a defined work area.  A simple example is that you employ 6 administrators in different teams, but will only require 4 after work has been redistributed.  So despite working in different teams, due to the potential transferable skills of the administrators they create a pool of 6 from which two roles will be selected for redundancy.

The skills matrix is used to highlight those staff with more of the skills and experience needed to perform the roles after the restructure. Likewise those that score lower are more likely to be at risk of redundancy.

What gets included in a skills matrix?

There are four main areas of inclusion when building a skills matrix:

  1. Skills (tasks that need to be performed)
  2. Qualifications (if relevant and appropriate)
  3. Experience (length of service in role)
  4. Competencies (behaviours/attitude/general level of performance

The objective is to create an balanced assessment of a persons performance vs the requirements of a role going forward, accepting that some of the judgements made will be subjective as well as other being objectives (based on facts).


A skill is the ability to perform a specific task or use a particular system or piece of equipment, the skills for a role often come from job description, e.g Manage Projects is a skill, so is using a CNC Machine or operating a fork lift truck.


This refers to training or education relevant to the role.  It would not be wise to include a qualification if it wasn’t relevant such as having a degree, if the role did not require it.  What may be more useful would be any job relevant training, training courses to use pieces of equipment or qualifications such as being a first aider or fire marshal, as these are relevant to the role.

The knowledge elements refers to things an employee should know in order to do the revised roles well, this can be knowledge of systems, processes or equipment.


This refers to length of service in role and avoids judgements being made about a person purely on a last in first out basis.


This final element refers to employee behaviour and attitude which can be quite subjective but can include more formal measures such as:

  • Disciplinary record
  • Attendance/Punctuality
  • Performance Review/Appraisal information

This section will also include more subjective criteria such as:

  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Efficiency
  • Commitment

Scoring a skills matrix

Once the criteria has been set, the next stage is to review each employee and as objectively as you can to create a score for each of the areas and then score the employee against it.

There is no prescribed scoring system, but it should be fair and ultimately create a balanced picture of an employees ability to do the revised roles going forward.

Below is an example you can consider:

  • 1 Low evidence/ability
  • 3 Some evidence / ability
  • 5 High evidence/ ability

Example Redundancy Selection Matrix (download)

Example Redundancy selection matrix