Suitable alternative employment
You may get the chance to take another job with your employer instead of being made redundant.
If a suitable job comes up in your company or organisation your employer must offer it to you rather than make you redundant. You do not have to take the job if you do not think it’s suitable.
Whether a job is suitable usually depends on:
- how much you’ll be paid and what benefits you’ll get, eg pension
- where the job is – it may be further for you to travel
- how similar the role is to your current job
- what terms you’re being offered
- your skills and abilities in relation to the job
When you should get a job offer
The offer of another job should come before your current job ends. The new job should also start within 4 weeks of your current job ending. If not you’ll still qualify as redundant and should get redundancy pay.
You have the right to a 4-week trial period in an alternative job. This should start after you’ve worked your notice period and your existing contract has ended. This avoids any confusion or disputes if the trial does not work out.
It’s a good idea to get the dates for the trial period in writing – if you need longer to train for a job get your employer’s agreement in writing with a clear end date.
You can try each job for 4 weeks if you’re offered more than one.
If you both agree it’s not working out during the trial period you can still get redundancy pay.
Turning down the job
You need to tell your employer in writing during the trial period if you think the job is not suitable. If you do not, you could lose your right to redundancy pay.
You need to have a good reason why it is not suitable, for example:
- the job is on lower pay
- health issues stop you from doing the job
- you have difficulty getting there, for example because of a longer journey, higher cost or lack of public transport
- it would cause disruption to your family life
Your contract could have a ‘mobility clause’ that says you have to work anywhere your employer asks you to. This may mean that turning a job down because of its location could risk your right to redundancy pay.
If your employer does not accept your reasons
If your employer does not accept your reasons for turning down the job, they could refuse to pay your redundancy pay.
Have an informal chat with your employer and ask them why they do not accept your reasons. Explain why you think the job is not suitable.
If they still do not accept your reasons, call the Acas helpline for advice.