refusing to sign a new contract of employment?

booboo007
booboo007 Posts: 2
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Background info.
I have been furloughed from my employment since the beginning of the job retention scheme. Shortly after the furlough period began, my employer issued section 188 notices. Informing me that my job was at risk and that a 45 day consultation period would commence. As the period has continued, the organisation has shared its plan is to make all employees in my area of work redundant, then rehire roughly 2/3 rds back. This will be onto less favourable terms and conditions and pay. Additionally, my working practices would be significantly different than my current job. My organisation plans to select employees for these new contracts based on performance and attendance, inviting them to complete an assessment. They have not yet notified if voluntary redundancy will be an option but that any redundancies would only receive statutory redundancy pay. I no longer wish to return to my organisation and I am fortunate to have a new employment opportunity available in the autumn. The redundancy pay would bridge that period. 

Question.
I suspect that a voluntary redundancy scheme would be oversubscribed and this is why the organisation does not appear to be offering a voluntary option. I am concerned that I may be selected to be held onto by the organisation, on this new contract that I do not agree with or want. If I refuse to accept the new contract of employment or partake in an invitation to be assessed, am I then dismissed without the redundancy pay? If I was dismissed for not signing my new contract/undertaking the assessment process .... would I have a valid case for unfair/constructive dismissal? 

Comments

  • sharpe106
    sharpe106 Posts: 3,559
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    If you refuse to sign the new contract and you are dismissed then yes that could be considered unfair dismissal.   






  • isplumm
    isplumm Posts: 2,204
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    does it not depend on how long the OP has been there? If less than 2 years then employer can just get rid ...
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  • sharpe106
    sharpe106 Posts: 3,559
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    In theory yes but still not as simple as just get rid.
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,439
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    1. If you continue to work without signing the contract, then you will be deemed to have accepted the contract

    2. If you resign because the terms of the contract are untenable for you, you may have a claim for constructive dismissal.

    3. If the company dismisses you because you don't sign the contract you may have a claim for unfair dismissal

    If either 2 or 3 happened and you did make a claim, it may affect any reference given by your current employer and also may not be seen in a good light by any future employer. Also any claim would take a long time before it came before a Tribunal.


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  • BarrySmart
    BarrySmart Posts: 55
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    1. If you continue to work without signing the contract, then you will be deemed to have accepted the contract

    2. If you resign because the terms of the contract are untenable for you, you may have a claim for constructive dismissal.

    3. If the company dismisses you because you don't sign the contract you may have a claim for unfair dismissal

    If either 2 or 3 happened and you did make a claim, it may affect any reference given by your current employer and also may not be seen in a good light by any future employer. Also any claim would take a long time before it came before a Tribunal.


    Good post. See number 1 a lot during my role. By virtue the employee continues to take the wage whilst still working covers the employer.
  • booboo007
    booboo007 Posts: 2
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    edited 4 June 2020 at 8:12AM
    Thanks for the info so far. I have been with the organisation 23 years in the same post continuously. I have done some research on gov.uk and found the relevant info into redundancy pay/termination/notice etc. 
    What I am finding ambiguous, on the official site, is what position I am in if I do not accept my organisations enforcement of new contract. There is no suggestion on gov.uk that says you should automatically be made redundant if your contract is changed significantly. My query is can an organisation dismiss you and not offer redundancy in this scenario whilst simultaneously offering redundancy to others.  Or, are they legally obliged to offer a redundancy to those who refuse contract? Hope that makes sense. 

  • sharpe106
    sharpe106 Posts: 3,559
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    If you refuse to sign they don’t have to offer your redundancy  but it could be  considered constructive dismissal, i.e. you have been forced out.


  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,354
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    With long service, the OP may not be well-placed for securing the redundancy package (because it will be expensive for the employer).  
    Does the OP have sight of the changed contract, to see if it really is that bad?
    Even though there is no voluntary redundancy, the OP may be able to have an informal chat about willing to go?
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