When a redundancy situation arises your employer is encouraged to search for and offer you suitable alternative employment (SAE) to avoid making you redundant. This could be a job within the same company or any associated companies.
If you accept the offer of SAE, then you are treated as not having been dismissed, your employment will continue and you would lose your entitlement to a redundancy payment.
If you refuse an offer of SAE, you would lose your entitlement to redundancy pay if it is deemed that the job was suitable and the refusal was unreasonable. However, if the offer was unsuitable and the refusal was reasonable, you would keep your entitlement to redundancy pay.
In relation to SAE, the factors that make the offer unsuitable or your refusal reasonable are as follows:
- Job content and status - drop in status or level, substantial differences in duties, including loss or addition of job content.
- Pay and other benefits - significant drop in earnings, including basic pay, bonuses, overtime, sick pay, holiday entitlement, etc.
- Working hours - change in shift pattern, removal of overtime, extension/reduction of working hours
- Change of workplace - if your place of work changes and your personal circumstances make it unreasonable for you to travel to your new place of work. This is on the assumption that you don't have a mobility clause in your contract, in which case your refusal may be unreasonable.
- Job prospects - going from permanent to temporary or fixed-term employment.
So as you can see there are a number of reasons that would make an alternative offer unsuitable and you would be able to reject it and claim redundancy pay instead. It is up to you to consider whether you wish to accept the offer or reject it but do bear in mind the above advice when making that decision.
And to answer your question, if an offer of SAE is made before the expiration of your notice, it would be treated the same as if it was offered at any other time before that and if you unreasonably reject it, you could lose your right to redundancy pay. However, if the offer is not suitable or your rejection is reasonable you can still get your redundancy pay.
I hope this helps. Please press the ACCEPT button. You would still be able to ask any follow-up questions if necessary. Many thanks