Many thanks for your patience. If your current role as it stands, ceases to exist then it will be a potential redundancy situation and you cannot force them to keep you in the current role.
According to the Employment Rights Act 1996, redundancy occurs in the following circumstances:
1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed
2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of the location where the employee worked
3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind
Generally, redundancy occurs when an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees, either within the business as a whole, or within a particular site, business unit, function or job role. So they are trying to reduce the employees from working full time to part time. There are various reasons why this may happen, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisation, workplace relocation, etc. The reason for the proposed redundancies will rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that the actual reason satisfied one of the statutory definition of redundancy above.
If there is a redundancy situation, 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
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.
Does this answer your query?