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Redundancy query

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  • Redundancy query

    Hi

    many of my colleagues had there 1st consultation meeting today about the risk of being made redundant.

    i have a few questions from them and myself that you guys may be able to help answer.

    Nearly all us want to take the redundancy pay and donít want to be redeployed...but in todayís meeting they are saying if they find a suitable role for us in another branch and we decline it, it would effectively mean we are resigning and lose the redundancy pay. Is this allowed?

    Can we not just have the option of being redeployed if there is suitable vacancies? or just choose to take the redundancy even if they offer a suitable redeployment? A lot of us feel like we are being forced to take the redeployment option when donít want to.

    They are offering 4 week trials if they find us suitable redeployment. I also heard from a colleague, that if after the 4 week trial you donít want to stay you must have good enough otherwise you wonít get the redundancy pay.

    thanks

    Tags: None

  • #2
    In answer to your questions:

    1. If a company has suitable alternative positions to offer instead of redundancies then they are obliged to do so.
    2. An employee cannot unreasonably refuse to accept a suitable alternative position, if they do they will forfeit their right to a redundancy payment
    3. A four week trial period in the suitable alternative position is also an obligation on the company

    However what terms is the suitable alternative position being offered, are they similar to those you are currently working on. You have mentioned that the alternative positions are in another branch:

    1. How far is this from the current branch?
    2. Is this a permanent work location or are you a mobile worker?
    3. If this is permanent work location what impact will the move to the address of the new branch have on your daily commute?
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



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    • #3
      Hi

      thank you for your reply

      they are looking at 2 branches to relocate me. 1 is about 3 miles from my current branch and the other is about 5-6 miles from my current branch.

      im assuming they would be permanent positions at either branch if they can do so.

      the commute to my current branch is walking distance fro
      my house (10-15 min walk)

      the other locations I would definately need publicís transport and have to pay travel costs. at the moment I pay nothing as itís very close to me house.

      i have 1 toddler and a 7 week old baby...and Iím afraid the the locations of the other branches will affect me being able to pick up my toddler from nursery as my wife is going back to work as a nanny with our newborn son mid February.

      would this be classed as a reasonable grounds to refuse those two locations?

      Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        An employee's specific personal situation, such as whether they have caring responsibilities and travelling distance, should be taken into account by your employer which means that they cannot assume that alternative positions are suitable for every employee.

        You could try to get your employer to understand that your situation makes the position not a suitable alternative. Firstly, you would need to argue the additional cost of travel being unacceptable since you have no travel costs now (although you are lucky as most people have travel costs to work). Secondly, with regard to the picking up of your toddler, have you done that in the past as part of your personal arrangements and if so did that coincide with you picking up on the way back from work? If so, then I assume due to the additional travel time it would mean your toddler having to stay at nursery longer thereby incurring more cost. This could be a case for stating to your employer that the position is not a suitable alternative.

        I am not saying that they will accept the reasons, however they would need to take them into consideration and provide you with a reason as to why they are not accepting them if they insist on it being a suitable alternative and thereby not paying you redundancy pay if you did not take up the position.
        I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
        If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


        You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

        You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi

          yes I have been picking up my toddler on the way back from work but Iíve never mentioned that my manager as it has never clashed with my shift pattern. With the additional travel time would mean having pay childminder/nanny to pick my toddler.

          On top of the extra travel expense, would offering me a lower contract hours be classed as a unsuitable alternative?



          Comment


          • #6
            I presume that the lower contract hours means a reduction in salary? If this is the case then this adds to your position of the job not being a suitable alternative. On this basis I think that you have several points that you can raise with your employer about the role not being a suitable alternative, along the lines of:

            1. If reduced contract hours equals less salary then technically the job is not a suitable alternative. However, your employer was right to give the option of a lesser paid job because a failure to do so could have could have made an otherwise fair dismissal an unfair one.
            2. There is then the personal circumstances that your employer needs to take into consideration a) reduced salary (assuming that is the case) and now incurring travel costs has a greater detriment on your household income and b) since you have been picking up your toddler on a regular basis as this fits in with your shift pattern, the move to either branch would incur additional child minding costs.

            I suggest that you write to your employer laying out these points and indicating that based on these factors the job being offered is not a suitable alternative and that you therefore retain your right to receive a redundancy payment.
            I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
            If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


            You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

            You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



            If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

            Comment


            • #7
              Would you think itís wise to wait until next meeting to inform them of these factors that could make me decline there offer of deployment? Or let them know before the next meeting?

              In your opinion,If they offer me a higher job title with slightly more pay and I decline it because I donít feel Iíd be able to fulllfil the duties successfully along with the reasons Iíve mentioned in previous replies would you deem thatís as reasonable grounds to refuse it?

              thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                If your next meeting is not too far away which, if you are in redundancy consultation process, is likely then yes have the discussion at that time, however I would then follow it up in writing so there is a record of your reasons for not accepting the role is a suitable alternative.

                If you were offered a position with a higher salary and new/more responsibility duties then you would be given the option of a four week trial basis. If at the end of the time you did not feel it was suitable you would have to state the reasons why you felt this specifically about the job and then add in the personal circumstance issues. It would then depend on whether your employer accepts that they are strong enough arguments to offer you the redundancy package as an alternative. If they decided it was not, then it would be for you to pursue an Employment Tribunal claim to prove that the alternative role was not suitable due to the change in duties and personal circumstances and that these were reasonable grounds to justify it not being a suitable alternative position.
                I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
                If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


                You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

                You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



                If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                Comment

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