I got made redundant a little while ago and managed to find a new job reasonably quickly. However, before I left the old job they changed their mind about making me redundant and asked me to stay. I refused as the new job was a much better package and they wouldn't match it. As a consequence they then refused to pay me my redundancy money as they said it was my decision to leave.

Would I stand a decent chance of winning if I took them to court to get my money?


Unfortunately, you are probably not entitled to the redundancy / severance money since you weren't technically ever made redundant / laid off - there was no point in time where you were willing and able to work where they refused you, and I presume you were paid for all time worked. If you're concerned that they only changed their tune because they knew you had a better job already lined up - well, you can call their bluff or just use it as a learning experience. In what jurisdiction do you work? If the US, you could call their bluff, say you'd rather stay and see what they do. You would then keep the option of simply walking away with your stuff in a box any time you felt like it (assuming at-will employment and no contracts that state otherwise).

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    I'm in the jurisdiction of the UK. I don't know if it makes a difference but I have a letter from them stating that they were making me redundant and how much they were going to give me. – Shazoo Feb 29 '16 at 14:19
  • @Shazoo I've never been to the UK, though I am aware that there might be stronger protections for workers there than we have here in the US - or maybe not. In the US, I'd be surprised if their stating you were going to be made redundant / laid off created an actual liability for them to follow through and pay redundancy / severance; actually following through would definitely seem to create the obligation, especially if they had already agreed to it. Do you have reason to believe they changed the story after you let them know about the other opportunity? Would they really keep you employed? – Patrick87 Feb 29 '16 at 15:51
  • The reason they revoked my redundancy is because shortly after they did it someone else who was also doing the same job as me left the company. So yes, they would definitely keep me employed – Shazoo Feb 29 '16 at 16:11
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    Giving notice is not something you can just retract when you change your mind. – gnasher729 Jan 20 '18 at 14:38
  • @gnasher729 it can be retracted if there is mutual agreement, however. – phoog Jan 20 '18 at 17:55

I found definite information if it is the other way around - if an employee gives notice and changes their mind, the company may keep them employed or remploy them, but has no obligation whatsoever to do so. Since these laws mostly side with the weaker party - the employee - I cannot see that you would have to accept staying employed.

So the fact alone that they changed their mind and offered to keep you employed doesn't give you any obligation to do so, and doesn't relieve them of the consequences at all. They will have to pay your redundancy pay.

If you decided to stay then it would be up to negotiations. And it is not at all uncommon that a company lays off an employee, pays redundancy, figures out the made a mistake, and then hires them back. It is actually common enough that HMRC has published the tax rules for that situation.

Consider the consequences if it was different: Every single company who gave notice would figure out who found a new job, and offer them their old job back on the last day, hoping that most of those wouldn't let the new employer down, and the old company wouldn't have to pay out.

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