Hi,I read an item (ref. Accepted answer 7270) about whether or not your voluntary redundancy payment would be affected if you were offered another post in the NHS before you have left your old job, or within four weeks of leaving. I have a similar but slightly different situation.My NHS employer agreed to my taking voluntary redundancy and my leaving date was scheduled for end June. I asked them if I could stay on to complete a project and they agreed that my termination date would be end August.I am looking for a new job and there is a possibility that I will receive a job offer from another part of the NHS. It would be a part-time post, instead of full-time, and I would be earning considerably less than I do now. However, I would be offered the job before I leave my current NHS employer. My concern is that if I am offered the job, I will lose my redundancy lump sum because of the Agenda for Change regulations. The clause states: Employees shall not be entitled to redundancy payments or early retirement on grounds of redundancy if: .... at the date of the termination of the contract have obtained without a break, or with a break not exceeding four weeks, suitable alternative employment with the same or another NHS employer;Could it be argued that the phrase 'suitable alternative employment' is important here. Compared with my current salary, the new post would be paying considerably less and I would be depending on my redundancy lump sum to make up the difference?I have been informed by HR that it doesn't matter what type of job it is, I would not be entitled to my lump sum, so it looks like I will have to withdraw my application for the other post, all for the sake of a few weeks.Your advice would be appreciated.
System of Law: Scots
Discussed with HR.
Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know if there is any definition of the term for suitable alternative employment in this document?
I don't think there is. I don't have a hard copy of the document which I think extends to several hundred pages. It is the NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions and I hadn't been aware of it until HR drew my attention to it and I found it online.
This is the link to the document: http://www.nhsemployers.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/AfC_tc_of_service_handbook_fb.pdf
ok I will take a quick look, won't be long
I know of at least one and possibly two other members of staff who took VR and started in new NHS jobs immediately, and weren't told about this or penalised for it.
The definition of Suitable Alternative Employment is contained on page 77. It says reference should be made to certain provisions of the ERA 1996. These basically say that employment will not be a suitable alternative if the capacity and place in which the employee is employed, and the other terms and conditions of his employment, differ (wholly or in part) from the corresponding provisions of the previous contract.
Further the NHS document states: In considering whether a post is suitable alternative employment, regard should be had to the personal circumstances of the employee. Employees will, however, be expected to show some flexibility.
So it is still a relatively subjective issue and whether a post is considered suitable will vary from one situation to the next. Your personal situation will be taken into account though and I would say that a significant drip in wages will usually make a job unsuitable, at least when it comes to offering such alternatives in a redundancy situation.
Thanks, Ben. My reason for looking for a part-time job is that realistically at my age it would be difficult to get another full-time job. I'm just concerned that receiving the job offer would be a risk that could go against me and one which I couldn't afford to take.
It is difficult to predict what the actual outcome is going to be and if any challenge you make, even at tribunal, will be successful. It could go either way on the day, but you do have valid arguments to take this further if necessary
Our Divisional Director told us in writing last year when asked if there were any time restrictions on returning to NHS employment that 'there are no restrictions, the post is redundant, not the individual'. This is why we all went ahead and started looking for NHS jobs. However, he has been wrong about things in the past and has been overruled before. Nevertheless I feel that as a representative of our division, he made that statement and the division should stand by it. Could what he said be used in a challenge or do you think the Agenda for Change regulations would take precedence?
AfC would most likely take precedence I'm afraid, but it does not affect my earlier advice
OK. Thank you Ben. I have a better idea where I stand in this now.
My pleasure. Unless you need further help, I would be grateful if you could please quickly click to rate the service I have provided you with before leaving and choose one of the following options: OK Service, Good Service or Excellent Service. If you feel the need to leave a lower rating, please reply to me first with any further questions you have. I will be happy to assist further and clarify anything you need me to. Thank you
Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).