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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48204
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a permanent in my current workplace and had been made

Resolved Question:

I am a permanent in my current workplace and had been made aware that my job would no longer exsist at the 2nd of March this year as my job has was being transferred to Ireland.

Do I have to take alternative employment within the company as my contact of employment
states under Transferability - The Company reserves the right to transfer you to suitable
alternative work or another job or in another section according to the needs of the Business.

I have been working their for 3 years and 7 months, Ideally I would like to leave, as the positions that have so far been offered I feel is not suitable to myself. I would like to know that if I decline these positions could the Company terminate my employment without any redundancy???

One job that was offered was only a 6 month contract, the other is in another section of which I do not want to do!

Thanks very much

Pauline Watson
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Why are they unsuitable?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The 1st option was for only 6 months.

 

The 2nd option is a job that I feel would not contribute to my future career.

 

I was a Credit Controller and the jobs offered were an Administration job and the other is a Customer Service job.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hello, my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. When a redundancy situation arises, an employer has a duty to search for and offer the affected employees suitable alternative employment (“SAE”) in order to avoid having to make them redundant. This could be a job within the same company or any associated companies.

If an employee accepts the offer of SAE, then they will be treated as not having been dismissed, their employment will continue in the new position and they would lose their entitlement to a redundancy payment.

If they refuse the offer of SAE, they would only lose their entitlement to redundancy pay if it is deemed that the offer was suitable for them and their refusal was unreasonable. However, if the offer was unsuitable and the refusal was reasonable, they would keep their entitlement to redundancy pay and could still opt for redundancy.

The factors that would 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, including loss of or addition to job content;
• 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. This is on the assumption that there is no mobility clause in their contract;
• 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 offers alternative employment the employee has the right to a 4-week trial period in that job, which can be extended by mutual consent. If during or after the trial period they decide against taking the job then they should tell their employer. This will not affect their employment rights, including their right to statutory redundancy pay.

So as you can see there are a number of factors that would make an alternative offer unsuitable, in which case it can be rejected and a claim made for redundancy pay instead. It is of course up to the individual employee to consider whether they wish to accept the offer or reject it but the above are the basic principles taken into account in such situations.

Finally, the fact that this clause exists in your contract does not automatically mean the employer can move wherever they choose - they would still need to act fairly and reasonably and take the above into consideration.

Please press Accept for the advice given so far. If necessary, I can then provide further advice and guidance as required and answer any specific questions you may have. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 48204
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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