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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My work situation is changing. I've been employed by the same

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My work situation is changing. I've been employed by the same company, in the same position, to the same MD for 19 years. He's retiring and will not be replaced. He's been involved in building up other offices and my position as Executive Assistant, has been different from other EAs in the company. HR has started a conversation with me offering me other positions which both has been temporary, one a maternity cover, the over working for an associate being relocated from one of our overseas offices for a year. I've been reassured that there's a position following these but I feel uncomfortable and pushed to take on something which not only is different from what I've done but also is not a position which will continue after 10-12 months. I've verbally been reassured there'll be a position for me following this but I'm concerned that what has been my forte in these last many years will not count if taking one of these positions. I'm also thinking if there should not be a conversation of an offer of a settlement to leave once my boss of 19 years retires at the end of the year. I looking for guidance how to handle these and what my rights really are. The company will not make an EA position redundant but I fear what they'll offer at the end of these temporary positions will leave me as in a strong position as I've now. I'll be grateful for any guidance.
Kind regards
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are you ideally hoping to achieve?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

To be clear what my rights are.

Whether the employer likes it or not, this may amount to a redundancy situation. The term 'redundancy' is used to describe a situation in which an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees. There are various reasons as to why redundancies may be required, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisation, workplace relocation, etc. The Employment Rights Act 1996 defines a redundancy as occurring when there is a: 1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind The third reason is the one which will cover your situation. The position will not really exist any longer because you were working specifically for one person, who is now retiring, so whether the employer likes it or not it may mean that the job is now removed too. What the employer has to do then is to try and offer you suitable alternative employment (SAE) to try and avoid having to make you redundant. They may try and say that a new MD may come in and you should continue working for them but that may not mean this is suitable. 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 the employer refuses to offer redundancy and you believe you should be offered it, you may raise a grievance first before deciding on whether to resign and make a claim for constructive dismissal. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for the response. If I then were to proceed to a redundancy discussion, at what stage will it be correct to bring this into the discussion if my employer doesn't volunteer this as an option?

Kind regards

Which part in particular are you enquiring about please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Should I continue until end of the year when my boss leaves with reviewing the positions my employer is offering or should I make I known at this stage that I would consider redundancy.

You should have nothing to lose by raising it at this stage and giving them a nudge that this is what you are expecting and it could allow them time to consider whether they can offer you something suitable or come to terms with the fact that this may have to result in redundancy. However, until you are officially placed at risk of redundancy or your current position is removed, they do not have to discuss this with you. Hope this clarifies things for you?
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