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Suitable Alternative Employment - Redundancy Case Study

14th November 2016

By Employment Solicitor Campbell McKellar

Client Situation

My client contacted me as her employer was seeking to restructure her department. Instead of making our client redundant, the employer sought to offer my client what they considered to be Suitable Alternative Employment.

Unfortunately for my client, who had over 10 years of service with the employer, she did not consider the new role capable of being a suitable alternative and requested a redundancy payment.

My client’s employer rejected this and maintained their proposed role was a suitable alternative to the need to making redundancies. The role forced upon my client was a 15% reduction in pay and a reduction in responsibilities.

I provided legal advice and explained her legal rights and options in relation to the proposed role. My client wanted to continue working with her employer, particularly due to her long service and her sense of belonging in the local community, however the only role offered was not suitable for her. 

How We Helped

I assessed the case and felt she had reasonable prospects of being successful in an Employment Tribunal. We agreed the job offered to her was not a suitable alternative role and that a redundancy payment should have been made. I represented my client throughout the process of ACAS Early Conciliation and issued her claim with the Employment Tribunal.

Shortly after submitting their response, the employer made an unsuitable offer to settle my client’s claim. My client was aware of a suitable amount to settle her claim due to me having drafted a comprehensive Schedule of Loss detailing the calculation of her losses.

The Outcome

On taking my client’s instructions, we returned with a counter-offer as part of our settlement negotiation process. This offer was accepted by the employer and was within the parameters of the best case scenario if the claim went to the Employment Tribunal for a final hearing.

On acceptance of the offer, I assisted my client in negotiating the terms of the agreement (COT3) between her and her former employer. I successfully negotiated terms to protect my client’s interests and to ensure any future employment opportunities would not be affected by the case.

After a few months spent throughout the redundancy process, my client was relieved to have the case settled without having to attend an Employment Tribunal. My client felt the amount of compensation and the terms of the ACAS COT3 Settlement Agreement were suitable for her to be able to continue her career with another employer.

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