If your current role ceases to exist as it is, the employer has a duty to make a reasonable search for suitable alternative employment (SAE). If such positions exist they must then be offered to those at risk of redundancy. The objective is to avoid having to make someone redundant and keep them in a job.
There are two possible outcomes of this:
· The employee accepts the offer – in this case their employment will continue in the new role and thee would be no redundancy
· The employee rejects the offer – if that happens and the employee expects to still be made redundant, whether they do depends on the suitability of the offer and the reasonableness of their rejection, which I will discuss below.
If the offer is considered suitable and the employee unreasonably rejects it, they will be deemed to have resigned and would not be made redundant or be entitled to a redundancy payment. If the offer is unsuitable and they reasonably reject it, they can still be made redundant and receive redundancy pay.
Reasonableness is based on the subjective reasons the employee has for rejecting it, such as personal circumstances, health, family commitments, etc. Suitability is based on both objective and subjective criteria, with the most common factors that make an offer unsuitable as follows:
· Job content/status – drop in status (even if pay remains unchanged), changes in duties, which do not match the employee’s skills
· Pay and other benefits – significant drop in earnings/benefits (e.g. basic pay, bonuses, overtime, commission, etc)
· Working hours – change in shift pattern, significant extension/reduction of working hours
· Location – new location making it unreasonable to travel to the new place of work
· Job prospects – going from permanent to temporary or fixed-term work
As you can see working hours can be a relevant factor and if that means you cannot take up the new role, it can be a relevant argument for not taking it. 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. This is an opportunity for both employer and employee to determine its suitability. If during the trial period they decide that the job is not suitable they should tell their employer straight away and terminate the trial period. Assuming the above criteria apply and the offer was not suitable and was reasonably rejected, they should still be made redundant from their original job and receive redundancy pay.
Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the options you have on taking this further if they refuse to make you redundant. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you