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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Good Afternoon, My Husband has gone through a redundancy process

Resolved Question:

Good Afternoon,
My Husband has gone through a redundancy process and currently working his 4-weeks trial period in another role (this is the last week of it). This new role is 2 grades lower than his previous role and pays £156 less a month.
He wants to decline the role as unsuitable and take his redundancy payment.
He did not receive the contract or details of the new role until yesterday - which is the first time he was advised of the new salary.
During the consultancy process he was not advised of his redundancy entitlement.

The letter outlining the terms for the 4-week trial period state;
"...You will had a trial period of 4 weeks during which time if you or the company decide that this role is not suitable then you have the right to revert back to the redundancy situation..." (note it does not state "statutory redundancy")
1) What grounds are deemed relevant for redundancy?
2) Must he write to them or is a conversation with their HR person satisfactory?
3) Given the extract provided above, is his entitlement for his contractual redundancy?

Many hopeful thanks in advance,

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long has he worked there for?


Hello Ben, I hope you are having a great day. He started working for them on 1/6/2004


He was made redundant as the client whose contract he worked on has gone out of business.


or rather the role became redundant due to this.

Ben Jones :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX! So does his contract entitle him to enhanced redundancy at all?


He found out (by accident) that he would have been due 8-10k which is significantly more than statutory payment


12 other people have gone through the situation as well

Ben Jones :

when you say 'would have been due', under what circumstances would that have been?


if he had chosen redundancy rather than accepting a role on a trial period hence this bit "...You will had a trial period of 4 weeks during which time if you or the company decide that this role is not suitable then you have the right to revert back to the redundancy situation..."


I just need to know what constitutes "suitable" really...


the reason I am querying contractual vs statutory is based on information from the other advice sources. The CAB seem to reference "reverting to statutory" rather than contractual on their site. I am probably over thinking - just wanting to make sure he does not accidently talk himself out of the proper amount.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

Question 1

The term 'redundancy' is used to describe a situation in which an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees. There are various reasons as to why redundancies may be required, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisation, workplace relocation, etc. The reason for the proposed redundancies will rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that the actual reason satisfied the statutory definition of a redundancy, which can be found in The Employment Rights Act 1996:

1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed

2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites

3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind (this is where many employees get confused as they believe a job has to actually disappear for them to be made redundant).

The third reason above creates the most challenges. Examples of when there is a reduced requirement to do work of a particular kind are:

  • The same amount of work remains but fewer employees are needed to do it. This includes consolidating some of its jobs (e.g. spreading out certain jobs amongst existing employees).

  • There is less work of a particular kind and fewer employees are needed to do it (both the work and the headcount shrink)

  • There is less work of a particular kind, but the same number of employees are required overall.


So as long as the employer can show that their situation fell within one of the accepted reasons for declaring a redundancy, the test will be satisfied.


Question 2


Assuming you mean whether he needs to write to them to advise them of the rejection of the job, it is always recommended that this is done n writing to create a paper trail in case of a future dispute. Then he can show without doubt that he told them about his decision.


Question 3


If an alternative position is reasonably rejected because it is unsuitable, then the employee would be able to request redundancy instead. What redundancy pay they are entitled to will depend on their contract as well as history with the employer. As a minimum it would be the statutory redundancy payment, but if his contract allowed him to receive an enhanced redundancy payment it would be that. If his contract is silent, then if there has been a clear and continuous policy of paying enhanced redundancy payments to departing employees he could claim it has become an implied contractual term. However, if this was a one-off or specific benefit that applied only to those who took immediate redundancy, then they could justify that it would not apply to him, even after the reasonable rejection of the other job.


Great - thank you. Please clarify in 3 what is termed as "reasonable" or what constitutes "unsuitable" for rejecting the role whilst in the 4-week trial.

Ben Jones :

The most common factors that would make an offer unsuitable, or a refusal reasonable, are:

  • Job content/status – drop in status, substantial changes in duties, etc.

  • Pay and other benefits – significant drop in earnings/benefits (e.g. basic pay, bonuses, overtime, sick pay, holidays)

  • Working hours – change in shift pattern, removal of overtime, extension/reduction of working hours

  • Change of workplace – new location making it unreasonable to travel to the new place of work

  • Job prospects – going from permanent to temporary work, becoming self-employed or being employed on a fixed-term contract.






In case something comes up tomorrow (when he has the conversation) can I come back to you on the same case file?

Ben Jones :

yes you can ask a few follow up queries if necessary. In the meantime I would be grateful if you could please leave a rating for today's response - it won't close the question and you an come back to it of needed. Thanks


great - thank you so much for taking the time. rating now. All the best, Claudine

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