My manager is restructuring our department and my role is at risk of redundancy as a result. They are offering “two different suitable alternative roles”. However, both roles include more travelling outside of the country that what I do at the moment. In my current role I travel no more than 10 working days a year. In one of the alternative roles, they want up to 50% of the time travelling and in the other, up to 25% of the time. I am a mother of two young children and I am unable to.commit to more travelling as it will impact on my family life. Can I decline the alternative roles and ask for redundancy instead? They advised already that they do not envisage any redundancies because the roles are suitable.
The main difference between a suitable alternative and (non-suitable) alternative role is that unreasonably refusing a suitable alternative role means that you may be made treated as dismissed without being paid a statutory redundancy payment.
Whether a job is suitable or not is subject to the following:
If your employer wrongly treats a job offer as a suitable alternative and refuses to pay you redundancy pay as a result, you can lodge a claim for a statutory and/or enhanced redundancy pay and unfair dismissal.
If it is reasonable for you to refuse what your employer is suggesting is a ‘suitable’ alternative role (i.e. one with increased overseas travel), you will still be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.
Whether or not it is reasonable for you to turn down the alternative roles depends on your specific circumstances including:
The third bullet point is most pertinent to your circumstances in relation to the additional childcare that you would require in light of the increased proposed travel requirements.