Do they need to make me redundant?

(6 Posts)
meggles Fri 09-Nov-12 18:50:01

I'm a bit confused.... any guidance or pointing in the right direction would be grand.

I work for a division of a US based company. Although I am officially employed by this one division, I have been working on a project for another division for 3.5 years. I went on Mat Leave in Feb 2012, due to come back in Feb 2013. Even if I had not gone on Mat Leave, I would have had to apply internally for another role as my project ended in May 2012.

5 years ago, the local office I had been working from was closed and I was effectively made 'officeless'. The office where I have been based for 3.5 years is 1 3/4 hr drive, one way (on a good day...). So, for the last 3.5 years I have been working flexibly... usually from home Monday & Friday. Then driving down to work early on a Tuesday, spending 2 nights down at work, coming back on a Thursday. My accommodation was paid for.

I have been offered another job within the division I officially work for, but with different working terms. They would like me to work from another office 4-5 days a week. This office is about the same distance, but with a tougher commute (M1...) Their wording was that I could 'possibly' work from home 1 day a week, if mutually convenient. This would be an extra day in the office, and since I don't feel like I could now spend 2-3 nights away, it would be an extra 3 round-trip journeys.

I still have two other interviews with other divisions, but as of now, this is the only offer.

I don't feel I can take this role. Since they're changing my terms of employment, do I have to take it? If I don't accept, does the company have to make me redundant? I don't have a job to go back to...

DevaDiva Fri 09-Nov-12 23:42:57

No advice just wanted to post to say I hope things work out for you. I'm 3 months redundant, started looking about 4 weeks ago and finding the job search much harder than it used to be so if you can find a role in your current co while you look for something more suitable take it. I'm sure someone will come along with some great advice soon x

Smoothingiron Sun 11-Nov-12 07:18:07

It really depends upon your terms and conditions of employment and the company's redundancy policy. Do you have an HR Department you can discuss this with? In law, if you refuse a reasonable alternative job you can forfeit any redundacy pay. This sounds like a complicated situation so I would talk to HR in the first instance as they should be able to explain to you how the changes affect your position. It makes no difference if you are on mat leave or not. Hope all goes well.

flowery Mon 12-Nov-12 09:59:50

If they can't find a suitable role for you, then yes you are redundant. I'm not sure how convincingly you could argue that one extra day in the office and a 'tougher' but same distance commute is not a suitable alternative, especially if you have anything in your contract about varying terms. If it were a lower salary, or ,much further away, or completely different hours, that might be easier to refuse justifiably.

How soon do you have to make a decision/what about the other roles?

meggles Mon 12-Nov-12 11:16:36

I don't have to make a decision for a few weeks. I have another informal job discussion with another department at the end of the month. That job would be working from home full time, and I would gladly take it.

I agree.... if it were full time in the office and/or much longer commute, I could reasonably argue it was signficently differing terms. I'm embarrassed to say I can't find my current contract at the moment. Have asked HR for a copy, to see what the exact wording is.

Durab Mon 12-Nov-12 11:47:36

I afraid I think they have offered you a reasonable alternative. It's more or less the same commute - the fact you no longer fancy the overnight stays is your issue, not theirs. One extra day in the office is unlikely to be deemed unreasonable IMO, especially if the original agreement to work from home was an informal "favour" in which case they haven't changed anything.

I expect you could have argued it was unreasonable when the the local office closed, but not now.

Good luck with the other position.

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