Finding employment after redundancy
If you are facing redundancy, you may find new work with a new employer or your employer may offer you a different job. Find out about the different processes associated with each and how you can get help.
Offers of alternative employment
If your employer is making you redundant, where possible they should try to offer you 'suitable alternative employment' within their organisation or an associated company.
Whether a job is 'suitable alternative employment' depends on several things including:
- how close the work is to your current job
- the terms of the job being offered
- your skills, abilities and circumstances in relation to the job
- the pay (including benefits), status, hours and location of the job
If you are being made redundant because there is not enough work, it might be that work picks up again before your redundancy. Your employer can offer you your own job back as 'suitable alternative work'.
Any offer for alternative employment should be made before your old job ends. You should be given enough information about what the new job involves so you know how different it is from your old job.
During your redundancy period, you should be told about available job vacancies within the company.
If your employer has suitable alternative employment but does not offer it to you, your redundancy could be an automatically unfair dismissal.
If your employer offers you alternative employment you have the right to a four-week trial period. This period is to help you decide if the job is suitable alternative employment, and for your employer to decide if you are suitable. If you need training for the new job, the four-week period can be extended with written agreement.
If you decide the new job isn't suitable, you should tell your employer during the trial period. This will not affect your employment rights, including your right to Statutory Redundancy Pay.
If you haven't given notice by the end of the trial period your right to Statutory Redundancy Pay ends.
If you refuse an offer
If your employer offers you suitable alternative employment and you unreasonably refuse it, you may lose your right to Statutory Redundancy Pay.
Disputes about whether employment is suitable or whether your refusal is unreasonable, can be decided by an Employment Tribunal. They can decide whether you are entitled to redundancy pay.
Time off for job hunting
If you have been continuously employed for two years by the date your notice expires, you are allowed a reasonable amount of time off during your notice period to:
- look for another job
- arrange training to help you find another job
How long you can take will depend on your circumstances. If you attend an interview or two and do not take excessive amounts of travelling time, then this is likely to be reasonable.
Whatever the amount of time off you take, your employer only has to pay you up to two-fifths of a week's pay for it. For example, if you work five days a week and you take four days off in total during the whole notice period, your employer only has to pay you for the first two days.
Starting a new job before your notice has expired
If your new job starts before your redundancy notice expires, try to negotiate with your employer for early release without losing your redundancy pay. Employers are often happy to make these arrangements.
If your employer doesn't agree to let you go early you should give them 'a written counter notice' stating when you would like to finish. Your employer should write back to you and say whether or not you can leave early.
If you leave early without your employer's permission you run the risk of losing some or all of your redundancy pay. Normally this only becomes an issue if your employer has given you a longer redundancy notice period than the statutory minimum.
Where to get help
08457 47 47 47
If you have a problem, try talking to your employer first. An employee representative (e.g. a trade union official), may be able to help.
If this doesn't work, you may need to make a complaint using your employer's internal grievance procedure.
Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues. You can speak to them if you are unsure about your rights.
Jobcentre Plus has Britain's largest database of job vacancies. You can use the jobs and skills search to find a job that is suitable for you. You can also get tips on how to fill in application forms and prepare for job interviews.
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