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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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They are closing the depot where I work, this is the second

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They are closing the depot where I work, this is the second time this has happend the first one was 5yrs ago and had to travel 20 miles to get there but now they want me to travel a further 21 miles to have a job and I replied that I cannot go that far as my car is limited too how many miles I can do a year. The reply was there is no redundancy, Is this right
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Why is your car limited on mileage?
Customer:

its a bit like a lease pay a set amount a month which includes services and insurance then buy or sell and the set mileage was to work out how many services it would need .

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your patience. A redundancy is classified in The Employment Rights Act 1996 as:

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).

So if your office is closing or relocating then this would be a redundancy.

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. So the employer has offered you the new place as a SAE position in the hope that you accept it and that they do not have to pay redundancy as a result.

What generally happens is that 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. The reasons for rejection would most commonly be subjective so you have good argument to make to try and reject it and argue that it is unsuitable and ask for redundancy instead. If the employer refuses then all you can do is resign and claim constructive dismissal instead.
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