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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45376
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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, I hope you can help me. I work national facilities

Resolved Question:

Hi , I hope you can help me.
I work for a national facilities company as an operations manager for 13 years and recently we have been awarded a 3 year extension to our contract with a national retailer.
Myself looking after London,Essex, East Anglia up to Northampton and Corby and my colleague in the Southeast covering South London Sussex & Kent were informed of a planned restructure and both our current roles were put at risk of redundancy.
We have a direct report each supporting us with our roles currently.
Our company intends to merge our 2 operations managers roles in to a new operations manager looking after London & South East with 3 direct support manager reports and we were invited in to consultation meetings to discuss the changes.
We both argued that the new role was not matched by a suitable package reflecting the doubling work load, responsibility and area coverage stretching from Corby to Brighton including all of London and east Anglia.
We were told that if we did not apply for the new role we were not entitled to redundancy pay as we would be put through a selection process regardless and the candidate picked would have to take the new role.
My college reached a compromise agreement after his second consultation and now i'm being told that my role is no longer at risk but if i don't take the new role it will be considered that i resigned myself and not be entitled to my redundancy.
I would very much appreciate your advice.
Thank you very much in advance.
Regards
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is the job they expect you to take suitable for you to do?

Customer:

Hi Ben,

Customer:

The job consists of mine and my colleagues job put together

Ben Jones :

ok but do you consider it suitable for your skills? Are there other factors that could make it unsuitable, like pay, hours, status, etc?

Customer:

its suitable for my skills , its just double my current load and the pay package offered with it doesn't match the increased work load, travel distance and responsibility.

Ben Jones :

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.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer:

Hi Ben,

Customer:

To complicate things, i have received an email from my line manager this afternoon stating that my position is no longer at risk ! How is that possible while i haven't accepted the new position and have made clear my position of not willing to take it until it is matched by a reasonable financial pay package that reflects the doubling of area coverage, number of sites to look after and travel distance!

Ben Jones :

the employer can remove your position from being at risk of redundancy at any time but in that case you would expect to be placed back in your original post, so if they are taking you off from being at risk but are offering you something different and unsuitable, you can still reject it and ask for redundancy

Ben Jones :

Does this clarify things for you a bit more?

Customer:

Yes it does thank you very much, the grey area is that to them the new position and package offer is suitable while i think the opposite.

Ben Jones :

yes there can often be a disagreement in such situations and there is nothing concrete that can be used as a checklist to confirm with certainty that either is right so if the dispute continues and no resolution impossible then only an employment tribunal can make a formal decision

Ben Jones :

Can I clarify anything else for you please?

Customer:

Not at this moment, Thank you very much for your help.

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45376
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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