Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you been given a deadline by which to respond?
Hello Gary, I am sorry, with the bank holiday I have not been on much, but I am catching up on some question at the moment so please find my response below.
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. In some ways the offer looks suitable because it is higher salary, the terms have not changed to your detriment, such as being moved to a new location, or been given duties which are on the whole going to be considered unsuitable.
On the other hand, whether an employee's refusal was reasonable depends on the subjective reasons the particular employee has for rejecting it (and not whether a hypothetical "reasonable employee" would have accepted it). This will cover factors relating to the employee's personal circumstances such as their personal and family commitments. So an employee is entitled to have regard to their life outside the workplace when considering whether to accept their employer's offer of a suitable alternative job.
So you may rely on the personal reasons behind your decision not to accept this position and use these as to why you believe it is unsuitable, even if under normal circumstances it may have been.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of how to progress the matter further, 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
ok thanks I will respond later today thanks
Hello again, as mentioned the reasonableness f a refusal of suitable alternative employment is judged on a variety of factors but most importantly it is a subjective decision based on the employee’s own personal situation and what makes it unsuitable for them.
When you contact them over this I would void reminding them that the position may be deemed suitable for you and instead you should concentrate on the factors which make it unsuitable and advise them of these. State that you are therefore rejecting the offer they have made and that you would instead be taking up the option of redundancy, which is what you are entitled to if you are not taking up any alternative employment with them.
The only issue is that you cannot force them to accept that the refusal was reasonable and they could try and argue that it was not and refuse to pay redundancy. This does mean that if you cannot reach an amicable resolution you will have to challenge this by making a claim in the employment tribunal for the redundancy you were due. The good news is that the employer has the burden of showing both that the alternative employment offered was suitable and that the employee's refusal was unreasonable so if they cannot do so, the tribunal will rule in your favour.