Human Resources

3.0  Guidance

3.1    What is Suitable Alternative Employment?

Suitable alternative employment consists of matching the employee to a vacant post taking into account the similarity of: 

  • the nature of the work of the employee’s current/previous job;
  • the terms and conditions  of the post being offered including pay, hours, location and status;
  • the employee’s skills, abilities and experience that are relevant  to the job.

Reasonable requests for training or retraining will be considered for staff where necessary to support redeployment into another suitable post.

In a restructure, downsizing or redundancy situation, employees may be redeployed to a similar role or into their previous job. For example, staff who are placed at risk of redundancy due to low student enrolment, may return to or continue in their current/previous job if recruitment picks up sufficiently to allow the course to run before their employment terminates.

Staff who require certificates of sponsorship and visas to work in the UK may not be eligible for redeployment to a suitable alternative post, as this would not meet the criteria required by the UK Border Agency. Such staff, if affected, should apply for vacancies once an advertisement has been published.

3.2    Redeployment into a Fixed Term Post

If an employee accepts a fixed term appointment when at risk of redundancy, the employee will normally remain subject to redundancy. At the end of the fixed term contract they will be dismissed for reasons of redundancy unless another suitable job opportunity arises. The original business case will apply. If, however the fixed term period is for longer than 12 months, or circumstances change, the business case should be updated and a further consultation period should be held.

3.3    Trial Periods

If the trial period is successful, the employee will be confirmed in post and written confirmation will be provided of the terms and conditions that apply.

If a trial period is considered unsuccessful by either party:

  • the trial period will be ended and the employee’s employment may also end at that point;
  • the employee may  return to their previous post for the duration of their notice period;
  • the employee may be  required to provide support in another role or work area;  or
  • the employee may not be required to attend work.

There is no set limit to the number of opportunities that are offered, as this will depend upon the individual situation, however, if a post is unreasonably refused, the employee may lose their right to further consideration and potentially the enhanced element of their redundancy pay.

If the redeployment process is unsuccessful consideration should be given to how the employment will be terminated, for example:

  • Early retirement.
  • Ill-health retirement.
  • Redundancy.
  • Capability in relation to performance or health.

Reference should be made to the relevant policy.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX