You should take steps to avoid compulsory redundancies, eg by:
- seeking applicants for voluntary redundancy or early retirement
- seeking applications from existing staff to work flexibly
- laying off self-employed contractors, freelancers etc
- not using casual labour
- restricting recruitment
- reducing or banning overtime
- filling vacancies elsewhere in the business with existing employees
- short-time working or temporary lay-offs
Offers of alternative work
Even if you've selected someone for redundancy, you can still offer them alternative work. For an offer to be valid:
- it should be unconditional and in writing
- it must be made before the employee's current contract ends
- it should show how the new job differs from the old
- the job must actually be offered to the employee - they shouldn't have to apply
- the new job must start within 4 weeks of the old job ending
Employees who accept an offer of alternative work are allowed a 4-week trial period to see if the work is suitable - if you both agree that it isn't, they can still claim redundancy pay.
The trial period can be longer than 4 weeks if you agree this in writing.
If you think the job is suitable but the employee refuses to take it, they might lose any redundancy pay entitlement.