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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am a teaching assistant working County Council

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I am a teaching assistant working for Devon County Council in a small school. I have two contracts attached to a statemented child both of which end this summer as he leaves primary school on the 26th July. I have been in this post for seven years and have had a letter regarding redundancy of these posts. The letter says my contract finishes on the 31st August but in my contract it states i finish when the child leaves which will be in July.
I am unsure if I will receive my payment of redundancy if the headteacher has offered me a job to start in September as a general assistant ?? I also have a current contract which is a temporay contract and this is going to be joined into a new contract on a lower pay grade will this affect my payment ? So confusing any advice would be great
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me is the new job under a new contract of employment with differant pay and conditions and is this a permenant post please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It will be a temporay contract on a lower pay grade
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this afternoon. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Many thanks for your patience. You appear to be on a type of a fixed term contract at present which would end on a fixed date or when a specific event expires, like the child leaving the school. If such a contract ends then this could amount to a redundancy, which is when one of the following occurs:
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).
Your situation is most likely to amount to the final scenario. 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. If you re being offered a job on lower pay and just on a temporary basis then you could argue that this is not suitable alternative employment and ask for redundancy.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. is there a time limit to when a new job can start from a new employer ? Online it states a new job has to start within four weeks of old job finishing which is possibly why the are suggesting redundancy payments might be made as our contract finishes in July and new job wont start until Sept
For the purposes of the statutory scheme, the new employment must start no later than four weeks after the employee's existing employment ends. So if your new job starts more than 4 weeks after the current job ends then they would have to pay redundancy
If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** been very helpful my contract states that my job finishes when the child i work with leaves which will be end of the summer term in July not the end of August as stated in the redundancy letter so I will have to query that at work
you are welcome, get back to me if you need further help