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Alternative Employment Options

An employer should always consider whether an employee, who is to be made redundant, can be offered suitable alternative employment somewhere else within the company and this Information should be readily available for the employee to decide for him or herself.

The following may influence an employee's decision on whether the alternative is suitable.

  • New level of pay

  • Change of status

  • Location

  • Working environment

  • Change in hours of working

There may be the option of retaining the employee on a temporary basis until a permanent vacancy arises.

Any alternative offer of employment should be put in writing by the employer. The offer must make clear the differences between the old and new jobs and must be made before the job under the old contract ends. The new job must begin immediately after the end of the old one, or not more than four weeks after.

Anyone refusing a suitable alternative may lose their entitlement to redundancy pay. Refusal on the grounds that the new job would mean moving house or lead to a significant change in working hours which did not fit with personal circumstances, would be acceptable. Refusal of a similar job without even looking into it would be unacceptable.

Where the terms of a new contract differ from that of the original, the employee is entitled to a four week trial period in order to decide whether the new job is suitable or not. The employer can also assess the employee during this period to appraise their suitable for the new role. This period can be extended (by written agreement) for retraining.

The end date of this trial period and the employer's terms and conditions following the end, must be explained.

An important point to note: If the employee works beyond the length of time agreed by both the employer and the employee, any redundancy entitlement will be lost because it will be seen as the employee having accepted the new job.

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