Suitable alternative employment
You might be able to take another role with your employer ('suitable alternative employment') if you're legally classed as an employee.
If a suitable alternative role comes up in your organisation, your employer must offer it to you or to someone else who is being made redundant. Your employer might need to hold interviews to check if the role is suitable for you, or if it could be suitable for more than one person.
Your employer should offer the alternative role before your current role ends.
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, for example 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 role
When the alternative role starts
The alternative role should start within 4 weeks of your current role 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 role. 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.
If the new role is unsuitable, you may leave at any time in the 4-week trial without having to give additional notice.
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.
If your employer offers you more than one job, you can try each for 4 weeks.
Turning down the job
If you think the job is not suitable, you need to tell your employer in writing. If you do not, you could lose your right to redundancy pay.
You need to have a good reason why it's 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 say you have to work anywhere your employer asks you to (a 'mobility clause'). This might mean that turning down a job because of its location could risk your right to redundancy pay.
If your employer does not agree
If your employer does not accept your reasons for turning down the job, they could refuse to pay your redundancy pay.
You should try and reach agreement by talking with them informally first.