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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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A question . My company is going through a round of

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Hi, a question for Ben jones.
My company is going through a round of redundancies and having consultations this week. I've been encouraged to apply to what is essentially my own job but with a lower pay and reduced hours. My permanent contract (6ys in the company) would become a temporary one. Is this change in contract legal (basically same job but worse contractual conditions)? And if I were to accept the new terms of employment would they need to make me redundant from my previous contract first? Or would my rights be carried over to the new contract? Thanks

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you happy to continue working in a temporary role?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, I still need to be offered that role formally as competing with two other colleagues (3 roles being reduced to 2) and need to be interviewed. But would prefer that to losing my job.

Hi sorry I was going offline when I picked up your query last night which is why I could not reply. It is entirely legal for the employer to make the proposed changes to your contract if this is as a result of a redundancy situation. In effect they can remove the permanent role you are currently doing and replace it with whatever they see is required, such as a temporary one or one with less pay.

As part of the redundancy procedure, the employer must offer you suitable alternative employment to try and avoid having to make you redundant. So in the circumstances they could offer you the newly created role as a suitable alternative for you to decide whether you want to take it up.

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.

In the circumstances you can argue that the role is unsuitable due to the reduced pay and the temporary nature of it. You can refuse it and be made redundant but if you accept it then you will not be being made redundant and will simply continue working in the new role without being entitled to any redundancy.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on suitable alternatives, trial periods in the new job and your general rights in that case, 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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I just have a clarification point. By accepting the new fixed term contract does it mean that by the end of that contract I won't be entitled to any redundancy pay even considering I have been in the company over 6y?

Yes that is correct. By accepting the contract you are basically continuing to work for them and agreeing to work in that position as an alternative to redundancy. If you wanted to get redundancy then you should reject the job, get made redundant and then leave some time before applying for it, just as if you would had you been a new employee applying for that position. Hope this clarifies?

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi this is just different from other advice I received that the FTC would count towards my continued employment in the company and so when the fixed term is over I would get the right of redundancy pay counting the 6+ years I worked for them.

Sorry my confusion, I thought you were referring to the end of the current job and whether you would get redundancy if you stopped that and started the new offer. If you meant whether you would get redundancy if you took the new job and its fixed expired then that is a possibility but not a guarantee. You would be entitled to redundancy if you are made redundant but for that to apply the reason for termination must be a redundancy. The expiration of a FTC can be a redundancy but it can also amount to a dismissal for 'some other substantive reason' which does not attract redundancy pay.

Has this clarified your position?

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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