Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Is it likely that your original role will not be available?
Thank you. When you go on secondment the employer has a right to decide whether to hold the substantive role open for you, or if they make no guarantees about holding your role open for you. Either is possible really and the choice is theirs. You should however be advised about the options and their decision in advance of agreeing to the secondment so that you know what you are getting yourself in for before you make that choice.
In the event that they say the role will not be guaranteed on your return, it does not mean you will automatically be entitled to redundancy if nothing else can be found. If your role is not guaranteed on your return then once you go on secondment, you are technically no longer attached to that role. Therefore, if the role is no longer available you are not being made redundant from it because you no longer did it and were guaranteed it on return. You cannot be made redundant from a role you do not do and have no rights over. That is why the employer can do what they have suggested and the employment will likely then be terminated for ‘some other substantial reason’ which is a potentially fair reason for dismissal and would not attract any redundancy pay.
Of course if you were unhappy with the terms on your return, you do not have to take the secondment so you should only do so if you are happy with what will happen at the end of it.
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Your understanding is correct. What happens on your return from secondment is something which needs to be agreed between you and the employer. There is no automatic legal right to return to your old role or to be made redundant. That is why it is imperative to negotiate your rights with the employer before accepting any secondment position. If you believe that the terms on offer are unsuitable then you cannot be forced to go on secondment. Similarly, the employer cannot be forced to let you go on secondment, but if they agree to it then it can be on their terms, which you should be satisfied with before accepting to move. Hope this clarifies?