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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44953
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I'm a teacher / Senco in a primary school. I've worked there

Customer Question

I'm a teacher / Senco in a primary school. I've worked there for 20 years. I'm currently on maternity. There is a proposed restructure happening and my job has Been deleted and replaced with a new role now called 'inclusion leader' Am I entitled to redundancy ? If so how much am I entitled to ( I'm 46 years old) ? If they refuse to give me redundancy what can I expect to be offered instead ( I'm the only person who's able to fulfil my role in the school , no one else is trained for it) If they offer me a class teaching post , can I refuse it as its so different to the role I used to do ? Where do I stand legally if I turn down a job that is so different to my job ?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello how different to your old job is the new one?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Very different ... And very large .... In fact it's almost too large to be achievable by one person alone.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
If you could call after 9 pm when I can speak I'd appreciate that . I have new born twins ...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your response. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not reply to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello again, employees who are on maternity leave have certain rights if a redundancy situation develops whilst they are away. The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations state that if "it is not practicable by reason of redundancy" for the employer to continue to employ an employee under her existing contract, the employee is entitled to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy (where one is available) to start immediately after her existing contract ends. This also includes a vacancy with an associated employer.
If the employee is offered a new contract so that redundancy is avoided, then it must meet the following criteria:
• The work to be done is both suitable and appropriate for her to do in the circumstances.
• The capacity and place in which she is to be employed, and the other terms and conditions of her employment, are not substantially less favourable to her than if she had continued to be employed in her old job
When a redundancy situation exists, the employer has a general duty to try and offer those who are at risk of redundancy any suitable alternative employment that is available at the time. However, the Regulations effectively give employees who are on maternity leave priority over other employees when such offers are made. If a suitable alternative position existed, it should be offered to the employee on maternity leave first, before being offered to others. Failure to do so would breach the statutory regulations and can also amount to discrimination because of pregnancy and/or maternity.
So if you do not believe that the new role is suitable for you and there is nothing else which you think is suitable, you can reject it and opt for redundancy. What you would get then depends on whether your employer only pays statutory redundancy or enhanced redundancy. You can calculate your minimum entitlement by law here:
https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay
If your contract or a workplace policy entitles you to more then you could get it but the above is the legal minimum.
I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Ben ... I think I've understood most of it ... I guess the difficulty with my job is that I'm the ONLY person who's able to do my job in the school ... So if I go for the interview for the NEW ROLE ( as my old role has been deleted) and I do not get the job, I may be transferred to another school within the same borough as a class teacher. But because I've been a SENCO during the past 5 years ( not class based job) I feel very strongly that I don't want to go back into the classroom I'd like to remain in a similar job to the one I had before going on maternity. So my question to you is ... If I am offered a non similar role ie working in a classroom and not a SENCO role can I turn it down ? And if I do, do I forfeit my redundancy money ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
It would really depend on how fundamental the differences are. 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 main issue is what makes an offer suitable and when can an employee reasonably refuse it. The most common factors that would make an offer unsuitable 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. These are the main factors but in your case it would be the change in status, the change in duties, going from a SENCO job to one which is not and what is what you would be arguing makes any other job unsuitable and if you reject it you should still get your redundancy pay. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ben that's very helpful , I have my 1 to 1 consultation this Friday ... I may still have questions that may pop into my head, are you able to continue helping me ? How many days can I have your support for ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
You have 7 days from the initial question for any reasonable follow up queries
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok ... I have a few days left then . Thank you !
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I there a legal document that can clarify if my status as a SENCO is different to that of a class teacher ? I wasn't part of senior management team but I had to train to become a SENCO which is different to that if a class teacher
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hi, happy to answer follow up questions for now but please remember to rate my initial advice, thanks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Of course ...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
thanks

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