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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48162
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am currently under risk of redundancy and wanted to know

Resolved Question:

I am currently under risk of redundancy and wanted to know where i stand. The redundancy is going to go through a Consultative Process across the company and they have targeted pools of people with similar roles. I am in a pool of 5 people that are at risk of redundancy. The process is just kicking off but i wanted to know do i still have the right to refuse a new role (at the same level and title but for a new business product area) and request the redundancy package that is being offered?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there please?

Customer:

I have worked here for 2 years and 7 months

Customer:

Will you be able to get me an answer in the next 10-15 mins or shall i log in again tomorrow?

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I am still here. Why do you ant to reject the new role?

Ben Jones :

In case you are no longer online I will also check back in the morning, thanks

Customer:

Well I normally take a role based on my assessment of the role, the person i am working for and how interesting the role is in terms of is it a growth area and is the direction i want to take my career in. Surely you cant be forced into another role if you are not happy to do so on this basis and be given redundancy.

Customer:

Also why am i getting multiple emails asking me to rate the service when you haven't provided me with an answer as yet. I am more than happy to rate once i am satisfied that you have provided me with answer for my Question.

Ben Jones :

Good morning, as far as the law stands, if there is a redundancy situation, an employer has a duty to offer those employees at risk any suitable alternative employment (“SAE”) that may exist at the time. The objective is to keep the employee in a job rather than make them redundant. Therefore, if an employee accepts an offer of SAE, their employment will continue in the new position and they would lose their entitlement to a redundancy payment.

If the offer is considered unsuitable and the employee refuses it, they will be made redundant and still receive redundancy pay. However, if the offer was suitable and the employee unreasonably refuses it, they would effectively be resigning and will lose their entitlement to redundancy pay.

So the key is whether this offer was suitable or not and if it was, was it reasonably rejected. This is not an easy thing to do and anyone can provide an opinion on this but essentially only a tribunal can decide whether the offer was suitable or if it was unreasonably rejected. It requires an objective assessment of whether, having regard to the nature of the job offered (the whole of the job: status, content and terms, especially wages, hours and location) and the employee in question, the job is a match for the employee.

So the risk here is that if the role was suitable and you unreasonably rejected it that you could be giving up your right to redundancy pay. That is certainly what the employer could claim anyway and if you disagree the only way to fight this would be to go to the employment tribunal.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Hi Ben, This is useful but does the employee not have a right of any trial of the new role before deciding to accept? What I read on the Citizens Advice Bereau website this morning was the following:

Customer:

Trying out an alternative job

If you’re considering the offer of an alternative job with your employer, you have a right to try out the job before you decide whether or not to take it.

You can work in the new job for a trial period of four weeks. The trial period will start immediately after your previous job ended.

If you decide the new job isn't suitable, you can give notice during the trial period without affecting any right you might have to redundancy pay. If you haven't given notice by the end of the trial period, your right to redundancy pay ends.

Your employer may offer you a number of alternative jobs. Each offer must give you enough details about the job about the new job so you know what the difference is between this one and your current job.

You are entitled to a trial period in each job if you want it.

Customer:

The emphasis on this advice is that the employee can decide and have the final say. Do you agree with this and would this be a reasonable thing to ask if face with the situation.

Ben Jones :

Hi, yes you do have the right to a 4-week trial in the new job and whilst the final decision as to whether you take the new job is yours, if you do reject it this decision needs to be reasonable based on whether the job was actually unsuitable when compared to the current job you do. So I am just making you aware of the risk that if the employer believes the offer was suitable and you unreasonably rejected it they could try and withhold your redundancy in which case you will have to challenge them in tribunal

Customer:

OK thanks for the advice i will keep this in mind. I am happy with the advice given so we can close this question now.

Ben Jones :

thank you , all the best

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