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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50138
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I was made at risk of redundancy on 17th March, 2014. I

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I was made 'at risk of redundancy' on 17th March, 2014. I was subsequently given my formal redundancy notice on 17th April, 2014; the letter stating my position would become redundant on 10th July, 2014. What is my position if the company, at this very late stage, offers me 'alternative employment' in another of its offices (I am based in the Warrington office, and may be 'offered' a similar role but based out of the London office). I do not wish to be 'relocated' as this would significantly affect my family. Instead, I wish to take my redundancy package and leave on 10th July. Can I refuse any such offer without it effecting my redundancy package. Many thanks for your adivce

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is there a relocation clause in your contract?


Service agreement Page4:


"The appointee shall perform his/her duties at the Company's Altricham office(it has moved to Warrington) or at such otherplace of buisness of the Company' or of any Group company as the company requires but the company shall not without the Appointee's prior consent require him/her to go to or resdie anywhere outside the United Kingdom except for occaisional visits in the ordinary course of his/her duties".

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. Such offers can be made at any time up to the employee’s last day of employment.


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.


Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks


Please leave this open, My husband is away from home working in the north east, I am having to read him your replies.


HR has phoned two of the other people affected by this situation today, we are half expecting them to phone my hubby tomorrow. Have you got any tips what to say to them?


Many thanks

Ben Jones :

It's very difficult to say without knowing what they may speak to him about exactly so obviously use the above as much as needed and ask questions if you are unsure about anything they say until you re happy to respond.

If you could please take a second to click on a smiley face for the service so far, the question will not close and you can ask further queries if needed

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you