REDUNDANCY – SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYMENT
If a suitable alternative post is available and an employer does not offer it to an employee selected for redundancy, the redundancy may well be unfair dismissal.
If an employer does offer alternative employment that is clearly suitable and the employee unreasonably refuses to accept it, he or she will not be paid a Statutory Redundancy Payment. Employers should take care in such circumstances however.
In Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection v Ward, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the decision as to whether or not an employee’s refusal of suitable alternative employment is reasonable is a subjective one.
The employee’s actions must be looked at in relation to the way the facts appeared, or ought reasonably to have appeared, to them when the decision was made. An employee can reasonably refuse an objectively suitable offer based on their own perceptions.
It is for the Tribunal to reach a judgment based on the facts in each case.
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