How to tell if the axe is on your head

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption In the coming months, all airlines will receive their A321neo orders “I’ve got a letter from my employer saying that my job is going to be cut and…

How to tell if the axe is on your head

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption In the coming months, all airlines will receive their A321neo orders

“I’ve got a letter from my employer saying that my job is going to be cut and I’m going to have to get another one. What can I do about it?”

When a job offer is withdrawn, or a company changes its mind about a job you were in line for, the law tells you that you have a right to “exhaust your options before you apply for another job” .

These are usually defined as “unless you had previously expressed a view to a prospective employer that you were not interested in accepting an offer of employment, in which case you have 30 days from the date of the original offer to opt out”.

Letters like this can have a big impact – and lawyers will tell you that it’s crucial to start making plans before they arrive.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption These are the changes that will hit British holidaymakers

And not all letters are equal

Each employment contract will contain its own detailed employment rules , many of which you will probably never see (no doubt, you’d like to but your manager is too polite to tell you).

Most contracts are legally binding, so you need to ensure that you take them into account when filing any redundancy paperwork with your employment tribunal.

Those rules will govern the treatment of you and your colleagues . You will want to take account of not only what is written in the contract, but also what happens if your employer makes changes that affect your working relationship.

What can I do to stop my job being removed?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption You are usually entitled to redundancy and unpaid notice if you still want to continue working

Contracts usually include rights to redundancy and unpaid leave. Sometimes, they also give you the opportunity to ask for unpaid leave to find another job or change career.

Consequently, when a termination notice arrives, you have the right to refuse to accept the termination, to give notice of your intention to leave (by writing it on your own leave slip or with a statutory notice letter to your supervisor) or to ask for unpaid leave, in that order.

What if they are refusing to give me paid leave?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Your local council can’t just take a cut in its workforce without telling you beforehand

These are the types of letters you have to contend with, rather than the totally voluntary redundancies that some people might be tempted to claim.

In the light of recent events , it’s sensible to think very carefully about whether your employer has the right to refuse paid leave in that situation.

Rather than simply protesting your employer’s actions – as a number of people did after Gatwick’s problems emerged – you could make contact with your local council to discuss, or take advantage of, its extended redundancy provisions to claim back holiday entitlement.

Of course, this is unlikely to be a job you want to return to so it’s important to focus on the remaining job you have to do – and if you are worried about giving away work without a payoff in hand, consider getting legal advice to try to come up with a settlement to cut out any risk.

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