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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49804
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work for a NHS Trust. We are going through a restructure.

Customer Question

I work for a NHS Trust. We are going through a restructure. My job has been given to another department to do. Everyone else has kept their job apart from me. The job they have offered me I do not want. No one wants the job either. They have said I was job matched to this job. I have gone down a grade which I expected due to saving money. Other peoples roles have had changes but they still have their same role.
We were told to give three job choices including our own or to just say you want your own job. I was told to give three. In the end I gave four choices. None of these were given to me.
I was told that if I do not take the job that they have offered and the one that I do not want I have made myself redundent.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-r1pk86im- : It will be 13 years in May
Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

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.

JACUSTOMER-r1pk86im- : They are saying no one will be made redundant. If i do not take the job that they offered they are saying I can go for a band 3 job. I am currently a band 5 the new job is a band 4.
Ben Jones :

even if there is a redundancy situation and you 'should' be made redundant, you cannot force them to do so./ If they are trying to avoid making redundancies and at the same time to force you into an unsuitable hob, then eventually you may have to consider going down the resignation route and making a claim for constructive dismissal against them

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

JACUSTOMER-r1pk86im- : Thank you
Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

JACUSTOMER-r1pk86im- : What I would like to know is can they take my job that I am doing and give it to someone else to do. Then give me a different job?
Ben Jones : That would be more difficult to justify, the employer would need a pretty strong reason for not keeping you in the job. Not that easy to justify
Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks