Offers of alternative work and trial periods

An employer may offer the employee other work instead of making them redundant and in fact, an employer who fails to consider alternative employment may be found to have unfairly dismissed the employee.

 

The employee has a choice whether to accept the offer or not. However an employee who unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment may lose their right to a redundancy payment.

 

Suitability

In deciding whether a job was “suitable” for the employee, an Employment Tribunal would consider factors such as the pay, status, conditions and skill requirements of their old and the new job.

 

Reasonablity of refusal 

When considering whether the refusal was “reasonable”, the question is viewed from each individual employee’s view. Some employees may accept the offer others for their own personal reasons may not. For example, the new job may require more travelling for some employees than their current job, but less for others.

 

For an employer to be able to rely on an offer of alternative work as a defence to a claim for redundancy pay, the offer must be made before the current job ends and the start date for the new job must be no more than 4 weeks after the old job ended.

 

An employee may be entitled to a trial period in any new employment that is offered.  See:

Trial periods

 

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Zero increases by 26%

The Office for National Statistics has released new figures that show nearly 700,000 people work on zero hours contracts - up 26% from last year.  The problems caused by these contracts will require a significant change in the law.

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