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Other jobs your employer should offer you

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

Your employer has to try to find you another job with them if you’ll have been working for them for at least 2 years by the time your job ends. This is called looking for ‘suitable alternative employment’.

Your employer should discuss alternative jobs with you when they meet you individually to discuss redundancy.

An alternative job can start up to 4 weeks after the end of your current job.

You don’t have to accept an alternative job with your employer if it isn’t suitable for you. Check your options if your employer offers you another job.

Other jobs your employer should consider

An alternative job doesn’t have to be exactly like your current job. Your employer should also consider jobs:

  • in other locations
  • with different pay
  • with different duties
  • at other companies they own

You should get a chance to apply for an alternative job even if it doesn’t match your experience.

Your employer should always talk to you before assuming you won’t want an alternative job. For example, if a job is at a different office, pays less, or involves different work they should still talk to you to see if you’re interested.

You have a right to spend 4 weeks trying an alternative job to decide if you like it.

Applying for an alternative job

Your employer might offer people alternative jobs without anyone having to apply for them. Check that you’ve been fairly chosen if other people are offered alternative jobs and you’re made redundant.

Instead of giving people alternative jobs automatically, your employer might ask everyone at risk of redundancy to apply for alternative jobs. You should be allowed to apply even if the alternative job isn’t exactly the same as the one you’ve been doing.

If you apply but your employer still makes you redundant you can challenge your redundancy if:

  • your employer discriminated
  • you were on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave
  • your employer didn’t tell you what they would base the decision on - for example if it depends on an interview or your previous work

If you aren’t offered another job

Ask your employer for an explanation if you think they have alternative jobs but you aren’t offered any by the time your current job ends. It isn’t enough if they offer you an alternative job after your current job ends.

If your employer doesn’t have a good reason for not offering you an alternative job you might have been unfairly dismissed. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice straight away, as you might be able to challenge your redundancy.

Common issues

If you’re on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave

You should be offered any alternative jobs without having to apply or compete against other employees - even if someone else might be more qualified.

Your employer can ask you to come to an interview to check that it's the right sort of job for you. But they can't ask you to come to an interview to see who's best for the alternative job - you should be picked automatically.

It’s automatically unfair dismissal if your employer has a job that’s suitable for you but they don’t offer it to you. It’s likely to be maternity discrimination as well. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice as soon as possible so you can challenge your redundancy.

If you’re a father you get this right if you’re on shared parental leave, but not if you’re on paternity leave.

If your employer offers you a job that pays less

Offering you a lower paying job could be unfair if your employer has alternative jobs that would have been more suitable for you. Find out what other jobs were available and ask why you weren’t considered for them.

You might be able to challenge your redundancy if your employer doesn’t have a good reason for not offering you the other job.

If the lower-paying alternative job is the only one available, check your options if your employer offers you another job.

If you’re thinking of accepting a job that pays less, it could be worth asking your employer if they can offer any salary protection. This would mean your pay wouldn’t drop straight away, but would fall over time.

If you don’t find out about other jobs in time to apply

Your employer has to make sure you’re aware of any alternative jobs you could apply for. For example, if you’re sick or on holiday your redundancy could be unfair if your employer only lists alternative jobs on a noticeboard at work.

It could be unfair dismissal if there were alternative jobs you could have applied for but you didn’t know about them. It could also be discrimination, for example if you were off sick for a reason connected to a disability.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice straight away, as you might be able to challenge your redundancy.

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