Job offers from your current employer
If there is one available, your employer is expected to offer you a suitable alternative job before making you redundant. Whether it's suitable depends on:
- the terms of the job being offered
- your skills, abilities and circumstances
- the pay (including benefits), status, hours and location of the job
If work picks up before your notice ends, your employer might offer you your own job as an 'alternative'. The offer should be made before your old job ends. You should be given enough information about what it involves so you know how different it is from your old job.
You have the right to a four-week trial period in a new job and if you need training for it the period can be extended by written agreement.
If you decide the new job isn't suitable, you can give notice during the trial period without affecting your right to a statutory redundancy payment.
If you haven't given notice by the end of the trial period your right to statutory redundancy pay ends.
If you refuse an offer
If your employer offers you a suitable alternative job and you unreasonably refuse it, you may lose your right to statutory redundancy pay. If there is a dispute as to whether a job is suitable, or whether your refusal is unreasonable, an Industrial Tribunal can decide whether you are due a redundancy payment.
Time off for job hunting
If you've been continuously employed for two years by the date your notice expires, you're allowed a reasonable amount of time off during your notice period to:
- look for another job
- arrange training
How long you can take will depend on your circumstances, but if you go to interviews and don't take too much travelling time, for example, then this is likely to be reasonable.
No matter how much time off you take to look for another job, your employer only has to pay you up to 40 per cent of a week's pay for it. For example, if you work five days a week and take four days off in total during the whole notice period, your employer only has to pay you for the first two days.
Starting a new job before your notice expires
If you are offered a job at a new firm, to start before your notice expires, then try and negotiate with your employer for early release without losing your redundancy pay. Employers are often happy to make such arrangements.
If your employer says they can't let you go early, because there's work that needs finishing for example, you can give your employer what is called 'a written counter notice' stating when you would like to finish. Your employer should write back to you to say if you can or can't leave early.
If you leave early without your employer's permission you run the risk of losing some or all of your redundancy pay. Disputes about whether redundancy pay is due in such circumstances can be taken to an Industrial Tribunal.
You should take advice from your trade union about the specific rules on 'counter notice'. You can also contact the Labour Relations Agency.
If you have doubts about the way your employer may have calculated your statutory redundancy pay you can call the Redundancy Payments helpline: