Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Please could you confirm how long you have been employed with Gemini Network Media in your current position? Please could you also tell me what you ideal outcome would be, given the circumstances?
No problem at all and thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.
Many thanks for your patience. This could amount to redundancy because the term 'redundancy' can be found in The Employment Rights Act 1996 and covers:
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).
The third reason above creates the most challenges. Examples of when there is a reduced requirement to do work of a particular kind are:
· The same amount of work remains but fewer employees are needed to do it. This includes consolidating some of its jobs (e.g. spreading out certain jobs amongst existing employees).
· There is less work of a particular kind and fewer employees are needed to do it (both the work and the headcount shrink)
· There is less work of a particular kind, but the same number of employees are required overall.
So if no one is required to do that job, or the duties are spread out amongst existing employees then it could indeed amount to 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.
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 really you need to look at whether this new position is something that you consider suitable for your experience and qualifications, as well as personal circumstances, and work on that basis.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the factors you can take into account when determining the suitability of this position, 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
Thank you. 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.
Hi there, the issue is that even in clear redundancy situations, an employer may decide to ignore the requirement to make an employee redundant and try to fudge their way through this by making contract changes and changing job descriptions. No one can force the employer to go through a redundancy procedure even if there is a clear redundancy situation. In these circumstances the employee would be required to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal instead, with the compensation being similar to what they would have received in a redundancy situation. So you can negotiate for redundancy now and if it appears that they are unwilling to agree to that, then state that you will be considering constructive dismissal instead and they would then be potentially liable for covering your tribunal fees if you are successful, so it is in their interest too to try and resolve this now rather than drag it through the tribunal.