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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38858
Experience:  Expert in UK Employment Law
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Have been informed that my job has disappeared and I will be

Resolved Question:

Have been informed that my job has disappeared and I will be slotted into a similar post
My usual place or work in Crawley has closed down and the new post in London & Birmingham means 3hrs more extra travel per day, 7hrs in total to London and Birmingham just out of the question. My current role was for one visit per month to London to attend a meeting, which enabled me to be home by 7:00 if I left London at 3:30 directly after the meeting.
Management are being flexible by saying the new post although Grade 2 admin is exactly as the same as I am currently doing now. I am a Grade 4 my pay will stay the same.The JD differs because I am a Regional Admin and have Management responsibilities which are not in the JD they are offering I see this as a demotion
So basically I would find the travel too much, the new role is a lower status. They say they cannot tell me how often I would need to work in London or Birmingham. The manager I would be working for has not yet been appointed, and |I am told I will be given other admin work until I can take up my new post, possibly not for another three months. I have worked for the company for 37 years so i can understand their reluctance not to make me redundant
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What specific queries do you have about your situation?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know what you hope to achieve

Customer:

I would like to know how to proceed with my employer, I am happy to take redundancy, although they are saying I am not redundant

Ben Jones :

The Employment Rights Act 1996 defines a redundancy situation as falling within one of the following circumstances:




  1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed

  2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites

  3. Diminished requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind.


 


So if your job relocates or ceases to exist, it will be a redundancy situation, even if the employer does not believe it is.


 


When a redundancy situation arises, an employer has a duty to consider and offer the affected employees any suitable alternative employment (“SAE”) that may exist at the time. The objective is to keep the employee in employment rather than make them redundant.


 


If an employee accepts an offer of SAE, their employment will continue in the new position and they would lose their entitlement to a redundancy payment.


 


If the offer is considered unsuitable and the employee refuses it, they will still keep their entitlement to redundancy pay. However, if an offer of SAE has been made and the employee unreasonably refuses it, they would lose their entitlement to redundancy pay.


 


The factors that would usually make an offer unsuitable or a refusal reasonable are as follows:



  • Job content and status – e.g. drop in status or level, substantial differences in duties, etc.;

  • Pay and other benefits – e.g. significant drop in earnings, including basic pay, bonuses, overtime, sick pay, holiday entitlement, etc.;

  • Working hours – e.g. change in shift pattern, removal of overtime, extension/reduction of working hours;

  • Change of workplace – e.g. if a place of work changes and the employee’s personal circumstances make it unreasonable for them to travel to their new place of work.

  • Job prospects – e.g. going from permanent to temporary work, changing to being self-employed or being employed on a fixed-term contract.


 


If the employer makes an offer of alternative employment, where the terms and conditions differ from their current ones, the employee has the right to a 4-week trial period in that job, which can be extended by mutual consent. If during or immediately after the trial period they decide against taking the job then they should tell their employer straight away. This will not affect their employment rights, including their right to receive statutory redundancy pay.


 


In summary, there are a number of factors, as explained above, which would make an alternative offer unsuitable, in which case it can be rejected and the employee's redundancy rights would remain unaffected.

Customer:

Thank you

Customer:

Would there be a time limit between when my current post finishes and the new one starts

Ben Jones :

well to fall within the definition of SAE, the new post has to be offered before your current employment finishes and would usually start straight away

Customer:

yes you have confirmed all my suspicions. I told my employer exactly what the legal advice was that I had received early and they said it wasn't relevant so not sure where to go from here

Ben Jones :

whilst you have a position in law and certain rights, an employer can bury their head in the sand and ignore these - I have seen it many times in the past. To take this further you have the following options:

1. You can raise a formal grievance and prompt them to deal with this officially and provide you with a formal outcome
2. If there is still a stalemate then unfortunately it does mean you have to take the drastic step of resigning and considering a claim for constructive dismissal which would also include claim for redundancy pay

Customer:

Thank you

Ben Jones, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 38858
Experience: Expert in UK Employment Law
Ben Jones and other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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