GN - Alternative Roles

Guidance Notes: Alternative roles for redundant employees

EMP.RED.17

Where the redundancy of an employee is under consideration, an employer should consider whether there is alternative employment available for the employee elsewhere within the organisation. These Guidance Notes explain the factors that employers should bear in mind when considering alternative roles for redundant employees or employees at risk of redundancy.

These Guidance Notes cover the following:

1. Introduction

2. Unfair dismissal and alternative work

3. Redundancy payments and alternative work

4. Alternative roles and trial periods

5. Searching for alternative roles

6. Offering alternative roles

7. Refusal of an offer of suitable alternative work

8. Alternative work after redundancies have taken place

If the employer is unsure as to whether or not an available alternative job is suitable for a redundant or potentially redundant employee, the employer should discuss the options for alternative employment with the employee. The employer should not make assumptions. Even if the alternative role involves a lower salary or a loss of seniority, the employee may prefer to accept the role rather than being made redundant.

An unreasonable refusal by the employee to accept a job which is considered to be suitable alternative employment can prevent the employee from being eligible for statutory redundancy pay.

If an employee accepts an offer of alternative employment on different terms (wholly or partially) to the original contract, he or she is entitled to a statutory trial period of four weeks. If, before or during the trial period, the employer or the employee wish to bring the trial period to an end, the employee will be taken as having been dismissed as from the date his or her original job terminated.

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