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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47365
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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there, I am currently on an internal secondment within

Customer Question

there,
I am currently on an internal secondment within my organisation, which is due to end on 29th May 15.
I have been advised that my substantive post is being made redundant with effect from Feb 28th 15.
I have asked as to whether there is a permanent position available at the end of my secondment or if the secondment is likely to be extended, but the business has stated that there is definitely no permanent role and currently no secondment extension available - although they have agreed to confirm the final position regarding the possibility of a secondment extension by end March (thus giving me the two months' notice within my T&Cs).
I have a family, and am not comfortable with continuing past the end of Feb, effectively "in limbo" awaiting a secondment extension, which clearly may not eventuate.
My preference is therefore to take redundancy at the end of Feb, when my substantive post becomes redundant.
I have requested this of the business, and am awaiting a response, but in the meantime wanted to confirm my legal entitlement.
The way I view it, they are changing the terms of my employment from end Feb (i.e. I will no longer have a permanent position in the company), so I have a case to request redundancy from this point.
I'd be grateful advice on what my rights are.
I have been employed at this company 7 years on a permanent basis.
Thanks,
Chris
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were you guaranteed a return to your substantive post as part of the secondment agreement?

Customer :

Ben,

Customer :

Yes, I was.

Ben Jones :

Legally you may not be able to request redundancy from the end of February because you would still be constrained by the secondment agreement, which takes you to the end of May. Whilst your substantive post is being removed in Feb, you are not guaranteed to return to that until May, when the secondment ends. Until then you would be bound by the secondment agreement which would temporarily replace your permanent contract with the company.

That does not prevent the employer from agreeing to release you earlier and still pay you redundancy but if they refuse, then legally you cannot force them to release you now and if you decide to leave it would amount to a resignation, which means you will lose your redundancy pay.

Customer :

Thanks Ben. This was the text provided within the original secondment letter. Does it provide any additional steer in this instance?

Customer :

Dear *****

We are pleased to offer you a secondment to Product Manager within Service Management reporting toAlistair Goulden. Your secondment period will be from 2nd June 2014 to 29th May 2015.

This secondment will mean the following change(s):



  • During the period of this secondment you will be entitled to an ‘acting up’ bonus of £2,500 per annum which will be paid quarterly.



  • You may be required to work outside the UK from time to time, however this will not normally be period exceeding 30 consecutive days. If you are required, at any time, to work overseas, this will be discussed with you in further detail.


All other terms and conditions remain the same.

At the end of the secondment you will revert to the role of Service Manager within Service Management on your previous terms and conditions.

Please sign the attached copy of this letter as an indication of your acceptance of the above. Please note that we are unable to make any system or payroll changes without this.

I sincerely ***** ***** you will accept this offer, and we wish you every success in your new role

Ben Jones :

I am afraid it would not change your position or my earlier response. You are still on secondment into the specific role until a set date. Whilst your old job may disappear in the meantime, this does not become relevant until after you are due to return to it. If it is no longer there when you return that is when you can ask immediate release, such as to be paid in lieu of notice and get redundancy because your role is no longer there.

Customer :

Ok, thanks Ben. So in summary, the company may agree to accede to my request with effect from end of Feb, but they are not legally obliged to do so.

Ben Jones :

yes correct, in effect you have nothing to lose by asking

Customer :

Ok, thank you advice

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ben,

I've just had another thought, and wonder whether this changes my position at all.

In the first consultation meeting I said that I wasn't overly concerned about the changes as I had always hoped to move in from the original role, rather than back to it.

There were a couple of new permanent roles made available to other team members, which the company subsequently filled, but I was not offered these directly.

Now that the redundancy is confirmed, does this offer any leverage to support my case made redundant at the end of Feb? Should they have directly offered me one of these roles, of which, as team leader old team I feel certain I would have been successful in my application and, if so, are they in breach of employment law as a result of not having done so?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
were you taken through a consultation process redundancy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I was. They didn't explicitly mention these roles, although I was peripherally aware of them being created. I'm guessing the company felt my comments of not envisaging a move back to my previous team as viable were akin to me not being interested in either of these roles.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
they should not have assumed and you had the right to be offered any suitable alternative employment with the company in order to try and avoid having to be made redundant. So even if you were unsure of whether you were going to return or not they should have made these offers to you and then you would have formally decided on them. Sadly it does not alter anything in terms of allowing you to leave early at this stage - it is something that could make any subsequent dismissal under redundancy unfair but that would still only become an issue once you return from secondment and your employment is terminated

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