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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47398
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been with my employer + years. Following a

Resolved Question:

I have been with my employer for 13+ years. Following a restructure I have been offered a one year fixed term contract for the same job with a lower pay grade but a protected salary.
My employer claims this is a suitable alternative and I am not entitled to redundancy pay if I refuse it. I have said that moving from a permanent contract to a fixed term is no t a suitable alternative. Who is right?
Also, as I understand things, four years of fixed term contracts would amount to a permanent contract. Shouldn't my 13+ years of continuous service be taken into account and make any fixed term contract a permanent one?
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello there have there actually been 4 years of fixed term contracts? Please note I am due offline shorty so mah not be able to reply until tomorrow thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, 13 years of a permanent contract (which I'm still on for another month). The offer is for a one year fixed term.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. You have slightly misinterpreted the way the 4 year rule works. To apply, you must have been employed continuously on fixed term contracts for at least 4 years. This is not the case here – you have been employed with them for more than 4 years but this has not been under fixed term contracts. So the rule would only apply if you were to be moved now to a fixed term contract and then continued being employed continuously on them for a further 4 years. It is only time on fixed term employment that counts.

You are however correct that moving from permanent to fixed term employment is unlikely to amount to suitable alternative employment. You are losing a lot of job stability there and they could try and terminate the fixed term employment after a year for reasons other than redundancy and you would lose out on this so you can argue that on these grounds the offer of fixed term employment is not suitable.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should they refuse to accept your argument this offer is not suitable, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. As mentioned, in the first instance you need to argue the unsuitability of the proposed position due to the change in stability, moving from a permanent to a fixed term post. The job may be the same in terms of duties and responsibilities but the fact it is of limited duration can make it unsuitable. If the employer does not wish to accept that you reasonably rejected it and refuses to pay you redundancy then you can resign and claim constructive dismissal and go to the employment tribunal to make a claim for compensation.

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