Yes, funnily enough, it is IT. I hope, for your sake, not the same company!
At our place, it's not uncommon for people - particularly technical staff - to be unassigned from time to time, as another suitable project doesn't always come up just when the previous one has ended.
But I have had a long-term role (years), NOT assigned to a project, which, perhaps naively, I thought would be a job for life, or at least until I got too ill to work anyway. It's to do with project auditing, so as long as there are still projects, there will be people needed to audit them.
Unfortunately, though, because it's always been seen as an overhead - we can't bill customers directly for it, though they would certainly expect we should be doing it - there's always been pressure on to reduce costs. Every Spring, we have this same issue: we're always treated as if our work isn't really justified, and ideally, oughtn't to cost anything - even though, deep down, management DO concede they'd be acting negligently, if they didn't provide an auditing/oversight capability.
'Til now, the annual battle to get more for less has never resulted in having to lose any of the team. So we were all used to it by now, and not especially worried. But this year, it did. Just when I'm ill, and very poorly placed to start again at something else.
I am assured HR has been involved in the point-scoring exercise - as they are required to be. HR, whatever else you think of them, are pretty savvy when it comes to the law - I can't think the points scoring system itself contravenes the law.
I wouldn't have thought my qualifications or experience were less than the other two, but I think I joined the group fractionally after them (though it's hard to remember, going back ten years). So it may literally have turned on "Last in, first out!"