Introduction to this document

Letter withdrawing redundancy notice due to change of circumstances

You have a duty to continue to seek work for an employee served with notice of redundancy right up until the date their employment terminates. Sometimes, there might be a change in your business circumstances such that you are actually in a position to withdraw the redundancy notice and offer the employee their job back. However, this still needs their  consent.

Consent to withdrawal

Once you’ve issued a notice of termination of employment to an employee, you cannot unilaterally withdraw it, even if there is a change in business circumstances resulting in the redundancy situation no longer existing. This is because the notice is legally binding. The correct approach is for you to seek the employee’s express consent to a withdrawal of the notice of redundancy. Use our Letter Withdrawing Redundancy Notice due to Change of Circumstances to request that your employee agrees to withdrawal of a notice of redundancy due to a change in circumstances that takes place while they are working out their notice period, for example, the acquisition of a new business contract or an upturn in work such that the employee no longer needs to be made redundant.

No redundancy payment

If your employee unreasonably refuses an offer to renew their contract of employment, they lose the right to a statutory redundancy payment. This includes employment in the same capacity on the same terms and conditions of employment, i.e. offering the employee their job back during the notice period. The test of whether any refusal by the employee of the offer of their job back is reasonable is a subjective one, and their circumstances should be considered. So, ensure you ask them for their detailed reasons if they decline your offer. The main reason that an employee may refuse to agree to withdrawal of the notice of redundancy is because they have already secured alternative employment elsewhere. In this case, the employee’s refusal may not be unreasonable, particularly if the new job is on substantially the same or improved terms and conditions of employment. Also, be aware that turning down an offer of re-employment will be considered by an employment tribunal in assessing whether the employee has mitigated their loss but it will not make an otherwise unfair dismissal fair.