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Very Little Helps => All departments => Topic started by: optout on 21-02-19, 09:07PM

Title: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 21-02-19, 09:07PM
The things that managers say are reasonable alternatives during the redundancy process is really bugging me, so, here are a few that are not reasonable alternatives; (unless YOU accept that they are reasonable in your circumstances).

nights to days
days to nights
days to twilights
twilights to days etc


full time to part time
fixed contract to flexi contract


Another store that is much farther away
Week-days to weekends
Days or hours, that are unreasonable for you because of childcare issues etc.
A role that is significantly different to the current role.

A POSITION THAT IS 'A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE' FOR ONE PERSON, MAY NOT BE 'A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE' FOR ANOTHER.



I am aware of the significance/importance of these issues at present, as I am sure many will be deciding what is reasonable or unreasonable for themselves in these life-changing times. So I would appreciate it if we can stick to factual stuff on this thread, so that others can use it as a reference.
so if you have any examples that are or are not reasonable alternatives, or have questions or advice on this subject, please contribute to this thread.

To start off I have found this link that explains the basics in a pretty much jargon free way.
https://youtu.be/TZEC9OMpqDA (https://youtu.be/TZEC9OMpqDA)
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Riddler99 on 21-02-19, 09:23PM
Thanks for this. I’m full time on Stock control and can’t really change my hours due to childcare. I am actually hoping for a redundancy.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 21-02-19, 09:53PM
Please let us know how you get on, so that others can learn from your experiences. :thumbup:
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Riddler99 on 21-02-19, 10:05PM
Will do. Here’s for hoping 😁
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Wandy on 22-02-19, 08:46AM
Thanks optout that’s interesting-I went from twilights to 5:30am starts and was told it was a job match! I absolutely went as far as I could with it-end result was no redundancy-take the job or leave. Now going thru it all again-3rd time....
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Riddler99 on 22-02-19, 08:49AM
I think unless you have childcare issues etc, they can change your hours quiet drastically if they want Wendy. I have no way of changing mine else my wife would lose her job
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: fatboy on 22-02-19, 09:03AM
What would be a reasonable distance to travel if they want you to work from a different store? Is there anything in black & white?
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Youngblood on 22-02-19, 09:06AM
What about almost full time to part time? Does anything under 36.5 count as part time and therefore not unreasonable to drop? A lot of the people affected at my store do between 32 and 36.5 hours. Surely it's just as unreasonable to massively slash 32 hours as it is 36.5?
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Nomad on 22-02-19, 10:46AM
If I did 32 hrs a week and during consultation found alternative employment of 32 or more hrs then I would consider it very unreasonable/difficult for your present employer to refuse redundancy on the grounds that what they had offered was reasonable.

As has been said "reasonable" is a judgement call by both parties, put yourself in a mediators shoes and be honest/practical with your thoughts.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Wandy on 22-02-19, 11:08AM
I think unless you have childcare issues etc, they can change your hours quiet drastically if they want Wendy. I have no way of changing mine else my wife would lose her job

I had two young children-6 and 1 😞
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Riddler99 on 22-02-19, 11:10AM
As though. I have 2 aged 6 and 1 now. But my wife goes work in evenings as soon as I finish. So it would mean her losing her job. So it will definitely be unreasonable. Obviously unless they keep me on earlier full time
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 22-02-19, 05:05PM
@Wendy, when you say that you took it as far as you could, what did you do?


Is there anybody else on here who has had a different experience, in a similar situation to Wendy?
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: tescopleb on 22-02-19, 08:01PM
Forget the partnership agreement this is where useless really let's it's members down. It has no excuse for not being an effective presence in these circumstances it's role should be protect its members from unscrulpulous managers. No reason area organisers can't get involved, not to undermine the store reps but  to use their position effectively
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: tescopleb on 22-02-19, 08:09PM
Sorry realise it's off topic but just makes me mad
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 22-02-19, 11:16PM
@Wandy, sorry I misread your name as wendy.


@fatboy
This site seems to sum up the state of play in the following paragraph.

https://www.theemploymentlawsolicitors.co.uk/redundancy-solicitors/ (https://www.theemploymentlawsolicitors.co.uk/redundancy-solicitors/)

Unfortunately, there is very little guidance on what constitutes ‘suitable alternative employment’ and ‘unreasonable refusal’ of it, although the burden of proof is on the employer to prove both. The criteria relating to ‘suitability’ include pay, location, status, hours, etc and those relating to ‘reasonable refusal’ depend on individual circumstances (e.g. domestic circumstances).[/size][/color][/size][/color][/size][/color][/size][/color][/size][/color][/size][/color][/size]My advice would be to contact ACAS, as if things progressed to tribunal stage, you would have had to have gone through them first anyway. It costs nothing to ask for ACAS's advice, and they are only a phone call away.[/color][/size][/color][/size][/color]
[/size][/size][/size][/color]
The Acas helpline number is 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 22-02-19, 11:25PM
@Fatboy
also found this; here; https://www.lawdonut.co.uk/business/employment-law/dismissals-and-redundancies/redundancy-faqs#Red19 (https://www.lawdonut.co.uk/business/employment-law/dismissals-and-redundancies/redundancy-faqs#Red19)

19. Do we have to give redundancy pay to employees who have turned down alternative employment two miles away?This will depend on:whether the alternative employment is suitable
ps (note to mods, can't seem to control paragraph formating and formating indicators, when copy and pasting, so sorry it is unintentional)
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Welshie on 23-02-19, 07:52AM
"Probably" be unreasonable . To me that is very vague and is an open door for Tesco to force people in to other jobs .
From personal experience, I can say that with the exception of nights to days or days to nights , the union will class everything else as reasonable and join Tesco management in trying to bully you into taking the first job offered .
Fight your corner for a job that suits you , if they have decided that redundancy is not on offer then you won't change their mind but at least try and get a job/hours  that you can actually do . I was allowed to see heat map .
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Redshoes on 23-02-19, 08:52AM
What is unreasonable to one is not to another, we are individuals and as such we can accept or decline.
I accepted a move to a store further away, it suited me as I was was in a store every close to home and I prefer to travel. I don't like paying the travel costs but I much prefer that break away from work when not working. Things like shopping on days off or during holidays.
I was also offered a huge reduction in hours that I had turned down. I had to go that bit further out to get the hours but I rather like the drive, it's chill time for me but there is no way I could do this without a car and the cost of fuel is not great but upon balance I have no regrets. I am very happy in the store I now work in.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: londoner83 on 23-02-19, 09:55AM
What's unreasonable to one isn't to another.

Example I need you to start 1/2 hr earlier:-
Employee 1) I drive so although I will have to get up earlier its no issue.
Employee 2) I already get the first bus of the day so that would require me to walk 4 miles down unlit country lanes in all weathers & as a young female  I dont feel safe to do so.

If you are going to turn down a change in hours, you just need to be able to explain why you cant move in a way others will understand.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Scott1 on 23-02-19, 12:35PM
A bit off topic but kinda related, has anyone been asked over the last few weeks to sign off on a change of job code? ie stock control merchandise nights too merchandising assistant, I just think it’s a bit strange 4 weeks before they start to restructure my department. Any thoughts would be appreciated tia
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Fudge340 on 23-02-19, 02:42PM
I have had my code changed as a admin, and our stockie has also. Tesco have asked for everyone’s to be checked as they have thousands of job codes that are not used, and many with just a few people on them. They are data cleansing and want to remove all unused codes, all stock controllers, admins, TL will be on the correct code depending on store size, And all the incorrect ones will be deleted.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Scott1 on 23-02-19, 02:58PM
I’m in an extra store and I’ve been getting paid with my job code for the last 6 years I’m just a wee bit worried incase they’re trying to pull a fast one in regards to me agreeing to be in a different job before they start moving hours.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Wandy on 23-02-19, 03:00PM
@Wendy, when you say that you took it as far as you could, what did you do?


Is there anybody else on here who has had a different experience, in a similar situation to Wendy?

I took it to the union, the sd, wrote to Dave Lewis and asked 101+ questions to all of them regarding the unsuitable job match and received the same answer from them all-it’s a reasonable alternative and either take the job or leave. My store manager at the time-when I finally got to the end of my consultation and had to accept it-he only turned around to me and said he agreed it was not a job match!  >:(
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Wandy on 23-02-19, 03:01PM
@optout
No worries 👍
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 23-02-19, 06:18PM
The lesson here is that you cannot trust the union or anybody connected with tesco. Hopefully others and yourself (in future) will call ACAS or contact your CAB for advice instead.
It may well have been (or not) a 'suitable alternative' to them, BUT that does not mean to say that it would have been 'unreasonable' for you to turn it down, and that is what tesco have to prove.So the question to ask is not; is it a suitable alternative? The question to ask next time is; can tesco prove that it is unreasonable (given your individual circumstances) for you to turn down the offer?
That is what the union and tesco did in your case; they answered the first question but did not ask the second question, so it could not (read would not) be answered, any real union would have asked the second question. Expect the same from them this time around as well, and get their response (with reasons) to the second question in writing.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 04-03-19, 09:20PM
here is a very good piece of info regarding the so called 50% rule, as applied to cutting hours in a redundancy situation. Thanks to @pete on the 'structure changes' thread for this.==================
The law

There has been much debate in the past whether a reduction in hours can amount to a redundancy situation or not and it seems that the recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in Packman v Fauchon has finally confirmed that a reduction in hours can amount to a redundancy situation, rather than a change to terms and conditions and a dismissal for some other substantial reason if these changes are not accepted by the employee.

The facts: The Claimant was employed to provide largely book-keeping services by her employer. There was a downturn in business which put the employer under economic pressure. The employer also introduced an accountancy software package which reduced the number of hours in respect of book-keeping work. Subsequently, the employer had a need for fewer hours from the Claimant and so asked her to agree to reducing her hours significantly per week. She refused and the employer gave her notice of dismissal, as they no longer needed her to work all her contractual hours.

Tribunal Decision: The Tribunal found that the Claimant had been dismissed for reasons of redundancy. The downturn in business meant there was a diminished need for book-keeping and as the Claimant did not agree with the reduction of her hours the Tribunal stated that the reason for her dismissal was redundancy. Rather bizarrely the Tribunal's decision flouted the precedent set by previous tribunal decisions and instead relied on the opinions of a textbook commentator.

The Claimant appealed.

EAT Decision: The EAT worked through previous case law on redundancy and summarised the position regarding the following situations:

If the employer's business needs are for fewer employees to do the same amount of work then a dismissal caused wholly or mainly for that reason is for redundancy reasons. If the amount of work available for the same number of employees is reduced then a dismissal caused wholly or mainly for that reason is also a redundancy. If there is just as much work for as many employees then, as there is no reduction in the requirement of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, there is no redundancy situation.

The quote from the textbook that was relied on by the Tribunal, and that convinced the EAT is that;

'Suppose an employer employs two employees but demand for his product falls by 50%. It cannot be right to say that there is a redundancy situation if he sacks one employee but there is no redundancy situation if he puts them both on half time. The truth is there is a redundancy situation in either event but a claim to a redundancy payment does not arise until there is a dismissal by way of the redundancy situation.'

The EAT stated that 'It was plainly anticipated by the draughtsman (of S135 of the ERA 96) that the expression "redundancy" would be applicable in situations where there was no difference to the number in the workforce but merely to the hours that they were working'.

Comment: Moving forward if you are intending on cutting the working hours of employees due to a reduction in the amount of work that is required to be carried out, it is important that you bear in mind that if the employee resigns, or if the employee refuses to accept the changes and is dismissed, this could result in you having to make a redundancy payment to the employee. With this in mind you should consider your options when proposing a reduction of hours, particularly for multiple employees. If you reduce the hours of ten employees due to a reduction in work there is a possibility that all ten employees will resign and each be entitled to a redundancy payment. Careful planning should be made to calculate the potential costs in such a situation. It might be cheaper to go through a full redundancy process and downsize the number of employees in that team rather than reducing their hours.

===============
So if your manager says that 'you are losing less than half of your hours, so you can't have redundancy'. get them to put it in writing, then contact acas, and quote the name of the case, and let them know that you are unhappy with what you have been told.
Of course if you are happy to accept the changes, and they are reasonable in your circumstances, by all means just play dumb, and tell your manager how wise and all-knowing he/she is.


Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Riddler99 on 04-03-19, 09:33PM
What about if they offer a loss of hours payout? Say covering 18 months of the loss in wages???
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 04-03-19, 09:43PM
That would be an option that you could accept or decline, depending on whether you found it reasonable.
eg when nights were put down to twilight's, they got offered; a drop in wages to days with a lump-sum payment for the difference, or redundancy.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Riddler99 on 04-03-19, 09:48PM
Thanks, I just wanted to know I could refuse it and still get redundancy. I’m full time so it would not be reasonable to me having kids and a mortgage. Others have told me they would say it is reasonable just because they are offering a payout.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 04-03-19, 10:06PM
get on to acas and tell them your specifics, quote the mentioned case. If you do, get back to us and let us know what they say.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: Riddler99 on 04-03-19, 10:11PM
Thanks. I’m going to wait and see what they offer first. If it is the case that they don’t offer it me then I will contact them.
Title: Re: examples of 'unreasonable alternatives', in redundancy
Post by: optout on 04-03-19, 11:35PM
Dont forget that any cushion payment is taxed as income, but redundancy isn't (I think the limit is £30,000) taxable. Just in case this makes a difference.