Hi there, sorry I was offine by the time you had replied. It is a difficult situation you are facing so I will try and strip it back to the legal basics to try and explain your rights in a more digestible way.
I would say that in the circumstances you are facing a likely redundancy situation. 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.
In your circumstances it appears that the third reason above is the most likely that applies here.
The next important consideration is that 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.
You have been told not to apply for the newly created role but if that is considered suitable then you do have the right to be offered it and whilst there is no guarantee you will be selected for it, at least you are able to apply if needed.
The issue with trying to challenge the restructure is that the employer has the final say to decide what their business needs and whilst it may not be in the best interests of clients or the employees involved, as long as they can show that the criteria for redundancy has been met, they are allowed to proceed with it.
In the circumstances your options are:
· Accept the alternative role offered to you, even if it is not entirely suitable but knowing you still have a job and in the meantime you can look at alternative roles
· Reject it and opt for redundancy instead
· Try to challenge the decision internally but as mentioned the law really only looks at the criteria as to whether redundancy exists and the procedure followed afterwards (i.e. consultation, alternative employment etc)
· Try to agree a settlement to exit the company
There is no right or wrong option, it is what works best for you personally, which is why I cannot tell you which one to go for.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the option of trying to negotiate a settlement agreement, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you