I have been a cleaner working full time (plus overtime on occasion) for the past four years and the company are making over 100+ employees redundant due to a company restructure. Under the new structure, the two cleaning roles which were each on a 40-hour contract are being reduced to two roles on a 20-hour contract. I have been informed that if I do not accept one of these new roles at reduced working hours I will lose my right to redundancy.
I am 56 and live alone. I would not be able to meet my living expenditure working such reduced hours. My question is would this reduction in hours be deemed reasonable alternative employment. All duties and responsibilities will remain the same and pay is at the living wage so there would be no change to pay.
You would only lose your right to redundancy pay if you unreasonably refused an offer of suitable alternative employment. I understand that under the new structure, the two cleaning roles which were each on a 40-hour contract for the past four years are being reduced to two roles on a 20-hour contract – presumably as a job share. As the offer is for half of the hours that you currently work, it is unlikely to be considered as suitable alternative employment. It may be that the company have offered both employees half of the hours in order to avoid making either of you redundant. If neither of you accept the half hours then it would be reasonable for the company to offer one full-time role and invite you both to apply for it. In these circumstances one of you would be made redundant and one would continue in the role.
If the other employee has accepted the 20-hour role, then it may be worth asking your employer what the situation is with working for a second employer, if this would allow you to make up the hours that you will be losing.