Can you keep redundancy pay if you get a new job?

I have been made redundant from my full-time post, finishing in about a month. I work for the local authority. I have heard of another position (part time) that is likely to become available in a school run by the same local authority, six weeks after my post terminates. If I apply for the position and I am successful, will that mean giving up my redundancy? I can only afford to take a part-time job if I can keep the redundancy to bridge the shortfall in salary.

It sounds like you have already been through a redundancy consultation procedure and are working your notice. This suggests that your employer has not identified any alternative employment it considers suitable for you. It is only taking or refusing suitable alternative employment that removes the right to statutory redundancy pay.

If you were to apply for a new position to take effect after your employment ends, that should not affect your statutory redundancy pay unless your employer considers it to be “suitable alternative employment” that one or both of you should have identified during your consultation or notice period. The fact the alternative position is part time and at a lower salary should be enough for you to argue that it is not “suitable alternative employment”. However, in my view, in order to keep the redundancy, you would have to accept that you are starting again in terms of service with the employer, with the consequent effect on benefits such as sick pay and holiday and indeed calculations for future redundancy situations.

If you have received an enhanced redundancy payment, there may be provision within the rules of that scheme for some of the money to be paid back if you return to employment within a specified period of time.

Before applying, I would suggest you contact HR to ask how they would view the effect on your redundancy pay, explaining that you do not consider the position “suitable alternative employment” but that you might be able to cope with the drop in salary if it is ameliorated by the redundancy pay. They are likely to be able to tell you about any specific rules associated with enhanced redundancy and/or whether an exception can be made when moving from full time to part time.

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