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How Accepting an Alternative to Redundancy Affects your Rights

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 29 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
How Accepting An Alternative To Redundancy Affects Your Rights

When you are made redundant, the law protects you to some extent. Your employer is required to handle the redundancy in certain ways, and, in most cases, to give you a redundancy payment when your employment ends. The law also obligates your employer to consider alternatives to terminating your employment outright. What those alternatives are is explored in more depth elsewhere on the site. Here, we will focus on how your reaction to any alternatives offered may affect the benefits you would otherwise have gained from the redundancy.

Being Offered Another Job

Often, as an alternative to redundancy, you will be offered another job at the same company. The offer must be made before you leave the company, and the new job must begin within 4 weeks of the old job ending.

You should consider any alternative job offer carefully. If you reject it without good reason, the employer can refuse to offer you a redundancy payment.

If you’re not sure about whether the offered job is suitable, you can try it out. The law requires that the employer allow you to do the job for a minimum of 4 weeks on a trial basis, so you can decide for yourself whether it is a suitable alternative to the one you had before. A longer trial period can also be negotiated. If, after trying it out, you decide that the new job is not acceptable, you can leave and still claim that you have been made redundant, and are therefore entitled to a payment.

Deciding Whether an Alternative Job Offer is Acceptable

The alternative job offer should be “the same, or substantially the same” as the one you did before. Disputes, which ultimately will be heard at Employment Tribunals, tend to hinge on what “substantially” means in this context. Reductions in pay, significantly less favourable terms and conditions of employment, or additional travelling time to reach the workplace, would all normally be considered valid reasons for rejecting a job offer.

It’s also worth noting that, although the legislation does not state it specifically, experience has demonstrated that the employment tribunals will also take subjective factors into account. This point is best illustrated with some examples. Let’s say you were offered another job at the same rate of pay, but you felt the new job was less prestigious than the one you had before. That could be sufficient grounds for rejecting it. Or to illustrate the subjectivity aspect with a slightly exaggerated example : Let’s say you were offered another identical job in another town which was just as easy for you to reach as the one where you worked before, but you didn’t want to work in it because you had once been mugged there and now had an irrational fear of entering it. That, too, could well be accepted by the Employment Tribunal as a valid reason for rejecting the job offer.

Note that sometimes alternative job offers are accompanied by promises that, should business conditions later change in such a way that the original job needs to be done again, you will either get it or be given priority consideration for it.

Lay-offs and Short-Time Working

Workers are laid off when, on a temporary basis, they are not given work by their employers. Short-time working occurs when the worker is employed for less than half of the usual work week. Sometimes these options are offered as alternatives to redundancy. When either situation persists for more than 4 weeks, or for 6 weeks within a 13-week period, the worker is entitled to claim a redundancy payment and should do so in writing.

Conclusion – Alternatives to Redundancy

As you can see, accepting an alternative to redundancy doesn’t necessarily mean that your redundancy rights are wholly negated. It’s important to understand how they will be affected, however, when considering the alternative offer.

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I put in for VR and was told that they it has been rejected as I scored too high in an assessment .I didn't want to go through the process but did as good will .They have given me a 3 month trial period to prove my job is like for like .My wages have halved and my role is different as I have a lot more work in the new role .Do I have grounds for redundancy even though they've rejected it once ?
louis wright - 29-Jul-17 @ 5:58 PM
I believe that I am about to be made redundant.I received a date for 6mnth appraisal before the 6mnths period had ended. In my last appraisal one of the points was where I would work in the organisation when the sub company merged.I was told I had nothing to worry about on the previous two appraisals when I raised the point.I also raised the point when the current year budget for the main company was being dealt with and the department I would be merging with began to be filled with new staff some not starting until September this year.I had previously given my partner our department job schedule to discuss as I envisaged work gaps but he has continued to find reasons not to discuss the situation with me.Once I received my appraisal date I said that I might need to change it if we had not discussed the job schedule.I was told I could not change it and that it had to be on 31 July.I have since learned that the sub company will not be in existence in three months time which is exactly my notice period.I am due to be on annual leave in two weeks time.I have worked for the sub company for just over two years- three in September.I have not accepted the appraisal date.I have also been told by a member of staff I manage that she has been told where she will be relocated to.I am not sure what to do.The director I spoke to a few days ago acknowledged that I was worried but assured me there was lots of work in the department my colleague has been told she is being relocated to but no one will actually say that is where I am being relocated to.I am also aware that one of the twopartners who should be doing the appraisal no longer has the invite in her diary and my appraisal has not been rearranged as would be the usual thing to do.The company pension start date has also been postponed until 1 November which is a date the sub company will not exist.What shoul I do?Could this be unfair dismissal?
Penguinoldmaid - 23-Jul-17 @ 2:41 AM
I believe that I am about to be made redundant.I received a date for 6mnth appraisal before the 6mnths period had ended. In my last appraisal one of the points was where I would work in the organisation when the sub company merged.I was told I had nothing to worry about on the previous two appraisals when I raised the point.I also raised the point when the current year budget for the main company was being dealt with and the department I would be merging with began to be filled with new staff some not starting until September this year.I had previously given my partner our department job schedule to discuss as I envisaged work gaps but he has continued to find reasons not to discuss the situation with me.Once I received my appraisal date I said that I might need to change it if we had not discussed the job schedule.I was told I could not change it and that it had to be on 31 July.I have since learned that the sub company will not be in existence in three months time which is exactly my notice period.I am due to be on annual leave in two weeks time.I have worked for the sub company for just over two years- three in September.I have not accepted the appraisal date.I have also been told by a member of staff I manage that she has been told where she will be relocated to.I am not sure what to do.The director I spoke to a few days ago acknowledged that I was worried but assured me there was lots of work in the department my colleague has been told she is being relocated to but no one will actually say that is where I am being relocated to.I am also aware that one of the twopartners who should be doing the appraisal no longer has the invite in her diary and my appraisal has not been rearranged as would be the usual thing to do.The company pension start date has also been postponed until 1 November which is a date the sub company will not exist.What shoul I do?Could this be unfair dismissal?
Penguinoldmaid - 23-Jul-17 @ 1:09 AM
I work 40 hours a week and after 20 years am being told my job is being made redundant.Firstly on the justification for this the main reason is a new payroll system being run from our head office, but this does not come into effect to our site until January 2018.Also, a new accounting system is supposed to have relieved me of some duties, but it has not made a great difference due to the way our particular site operates.A new job of 22 hours per week has been created and offered to me, about 50% of the tasks on the job description are currently done by another employee, this will substantially reduce her workload, but none of her job or hours are being made redundant.It would seem only I am losing hours due and I am also the highest paid admin person.
acb311 - 20-Jun-17 @ 2:24 PM
Charley33 - Your Question:
I was informed they was making my role redundant they then offered me a created role as they didn't wasn't to lose me. My current rate of pay is £12 per hour, the new job rate is £8.60 they have offered me £1700 compensation for the change in pay. The role is nearly the same as the redundant rate, Can the company change my rate of pay by so much?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, if your company is shedding jobs then it is up to you to accept or reject the new offer. However, if the role is similar or similar to the role you are currently employed in then your employer may not be working within the current employment law guidelines. Therefore, I suggest you give ACAS a call to make sure.
RedundancyExpert - 19-May-16 @ 1:54 PM
Button nose - Your Question:
Hi I have been told I am at risk of redundancy. I am currently on maternity leave I know my hours are being reduced and I will be working term time only as I work in a school rather than all year round would this be classed as a suitable alternative.

Our Response:
The Money Advice Service gives an in-depth look at working reduced hours as an alternative to redundancy here. I hope this helps.
RedundancyExpert - 19-May-16 @ 10:48 AM
I was informed they was making my role redundant they then offered me a created role as they didn't wasn't to lose me. My current rate of pay is £12 per hour, the new job rate is £8.60 they have offered me £1700 compensation for the change in pay. The role is nearly the same as the redundant rate, Can the company change my rate of pay by so much?
Charley33 - 18-May-16 @ 7:37 PM
Hi I have been told I am at risk of redundancy . I am currently on maternity leave I know my hours are being reduced and I will be working term time only as I work in a school rather than all year round would this be classed as a suitable alternative.
Button nose - 18-May-16 @ 2:22 PM
Tine - Your Question:
I currently work at a contact centre, my role is as an information gatherer for new claims. I have been told the centre is going to change to a telephone enquiry line, sourcing information from various records. I tried this type of work recently and was off work with stress due to it. If all the centre changes to enquiry services, would I be able to ask for and receive redundancy? I am 61 and have worked for the company for 7 years.

Our Response:
You can only offer yourself up for redundancy if voluntary redundancy is an option being proposed by your company and if you qualify under the terms your company is offering.
RedundancyExpert - 20-Jan-16 @ 12:38 PM
I currently work at a contact centre, my role is as an information gatherer for new claims. I have been told the centre is going to change to a telephone enquiry line, sourcing information from various records. I tried this type of work recently and was off work with stress due to it. If all the centre changes to enquiry services, would I be able to ask for and receive redundancy? I am 61 and have worked for the company for 7 years.
Tine - 19-Jan-16 @ 4:12 PM
Damsel in distree - Your Question:
I was advised my role was at risk of redundancy. I was given a date and advised how much I would receive. The following week at the next meeting, I was advised I was being given the same role in another division. The manager and I have worked together before but we do not get on and I was relieved when she moved to the other division. Working for her again will cause me great distress, I am a wreck already thinking about it. Is there anything I can do? I've accepted 4 week trial period, I didn't feel I had any choice as I've been told take the job or resign. The start date is looming so would appreciate some advice. Thank you

Our Response:
You can find out more regarding your rights if you don't want to continue in your new position via the gov.uk link here. I hope this helps.
RedundancyExpert - 1-Dec-15 @ 2:56 PM
I was advised my role was at risk of redundancy. I was given a date and advised how much I would receive. The following week at the next meeting, I was advised I was being given the same role in another division. The manager and I have worked together before but we do not get on and I was relieved when she moved to the other division. Working for her again will cause me great distress, I am a wreck already thinking about it. Is there anything I can do?I've accepted 4 week trial period, I didn't feel I had any choice as I've been told take the job or resign.The start date is looming so would appreciate some advice. Thank you
Damsel in distree - 30-Nov-15 @ 8:36 PM
Bigbear - Your Question:
I am 63, been offerered an enhanced redundancy package and will probably take early retirement. However it seems the process is quite rushed for me. Two wk consultancy period. Then they expect a decision and only 4 wks till I'm made redundant. Should I be given more paid notice? I've been with the company 15 yrs. thanks

Our Response:
According to ACAS: 'Consultation should begin in good time and must begin: at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 20 to 99 employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less, or at least 45 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 100 or more employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less'. You can access the link here. I hope this helps.
RedundancyExpert - 5-Oct-15 @ 10:22 AM
I am 63, been offerered an enhanced redundancy package and will probably take early retirement. However it seems the process is quite rushed for me. Two wk consultancy period. Then they expect a decision and only 4 wks till I'm made redundant. Should I be given more paid notice? I've been with the company 15 yrs. thanks
Bigbear - 4-Oct-15 @ 9:23 AM
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