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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47848
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Im currently being made redundant, i have been given my end

Customer Question

im currently being made redundant, i have been given my end date and redundancy offer and now my employer is trying to force us to apply for another job thats completely different to the one im currently doing. they have said if we do not apply we will lose everything. where do i stand?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and in what ways is the offer not suitable for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
9 years and it is a totally different job role. i work in credit control and the job offer is for accounts coordinator, processing orders, deliveries, in charge of customer master data, raising debits & credits etc. we do not currently handle any of this work.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

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. This can happen at any time up until the employee’s last day of employment.

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.

Where an offer of alternative employment has been made and its terms and conditions are different to the employee's current terms, they have the right to a 4-week trial period. If during the trial period they decide that the job is not suitable they should tell their employer straight away. This will not affect their employment rights, including the right to receive statutory redundancy pay.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the factors that are usually considered when determining the suitability of a job role, 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

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

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 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.

Where an offer of alternative employment has been made and its terms and conditions are different to the employee's current terms, they have the right to a 4-week trial period. If during the trial period they decide that the job is not suitable they should tell their employer straight away. This will not affect their employment rights, including the right to receive statutory redundancy pay.

So it is important to consider whether any offer that has been made is suitable or if there are reasonable grounds to treat it as unsuitable and safely reject it, opting for redundancy instead.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, this is what i thought thank you, ***** ***** needed to clarify as too many different opinions. Its just really sad because i have been there such a long time (i know loyalty doesnt mean a lot these days) but they have made quite a lot of people redundant over the past year & not one of those people has been made to jump through hoops like our department. no one else has been forced to take a new role they havent been happy with. it just seems wrong. we are all so stressed with one minute we are going & then the next we have to apply for this new role thats suddenly appeared out of thin air... it would be so much easier if they went with the approach of 'we dont want to lose you in the business' instead of 'you will do what i say or else' attitude. it feels like a very twisted game. so is my best bet to apply and see what happens? i have already told them i dont want the position and they are still making me apply.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

It is up to you if you want to at least try it for the trial period. However, if you are adamant it is not suitable then you do not have to apply for it and can reject it on grounds of unsuitability. If they say you lose your redundancy as a result, then you can take them t the employment tribunal to pursue your pay which would have been due