In a redundancy situation, what obligations does an employer have with regard to offering suitable alternative employment?


It is important as part of a fair and reasonable redundancy procedure for an employer to consider whether it, or any associated employer, has any vacancies that would be suitable for employees who would otherwise be made redundant. There is no obligation on the employer to create new jobs for redundant employees, but failure to offer any available suitable alternative employment may make a dismissal by reason of redundancy unfair.

Where an employee's contract is renewed, or they are re-engaged under a new contract in pursuance of an offer made before the end of the employment under the previous contract, and the renewal or re-engagement takes effect either immediately on, or within four weeks of, the end of the previous employment, there will be no redundancy dismissal.

In addition to the requirement to consider alternative employment as part of a fair redundancy procedure, employers must comply with the separate duty to offer any suitable alternative vacancy to an employee who is on maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave when the redundancy occurs. From 6 April 2024, this duty applies also in relation to pregnant employees and employees on their return from family leave (see How to consider offers of suitable alternative work for redundant employees).