Is "last in, first out" still a valid redundancy selection criterion?
The use of "last in, first out" (LIFO) is likely to put employees in younger age groups at a particular disadvantage, as they are more likely to be the employees with the least service. This would entitle those employees to make claims for indirect age discrimination.
Under the Equality Act 2010, discrimination because of age will be unlawful unless it can be objectively justified, ie the employer can show that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The employer might be able to show that LIFO is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, for example rewarding loyalty, if it is used as one of several criteria, or to determine the outcome of a selection exercise where employees have scored the same on other criteria. It is not advisable for an employer to use LIFO as the only criterion for selection if there are other factors that can be taken into account.