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We have an employee in a role that is now very reduced and we wish for them to go from full time to part time. There is nobody else in the role or going into the role. However, if we were to make them redundant at a later date could we, on a discretionary basis, pay them redundancy on their full-time salary. They have been with us for many years and we would not like them to miss out so would prefer, if it comes to it, to pay them the redundancy pay based on their full time salary. Is this permissible?
I would advise that the focus is on moving the role from full time to part time. To reduce full-time hours to part-time hours, there would need to be agreement from the employee and a reduction in hours cannot be done without this agreement. You could offer redundancy now or part-time hours as an alternative to redundancy. If agreed then a new contract will need to be issued due to the changes of terms and conditions. If they do not agree then you will need to start a consultation process. You will also need to ensure you have valid business reasons for making a change from full-time to part-time hours and give notice of when the change will commence. You might need to end the contract and re-engage on new terms and conditions for a part-time role, if the employee refused part-time hours.
You could offer an incentive to move from full-time to part-time work – this being offering an enhanced redundancy package (based on full-time earnings). However, this may need to be done under a compromise agreement as you also need to consider your redundancy terms for other employees.