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Redundancy

Redundancy usually occurs when, through no fault of your own, the job you have been doing is no longer required to be done by anyone. Effectively, to be a genuine redundancy, your job must cease to exist.

Your job is made up of many things including, for example, your job title, your pay, your hours, where your job is located and your duties. Consider all of these factors together when you ask yourself whether your job has truly ceased to exist. Redundancy may occur for a number of reasons, for example:

  • a downturn in production, sales, or the economy generally;
  • the introduction of new technology;
  • business relocation;
  • the duties of your position are reallocated to other employees;
  • the business merges with another business or is sold;
  • an internal company restructure occurs; or
  • your employer becomes insolvent or bankrupt.

Remember, it is the job that becomes redundant, not you.

Process for implementing a redundancy

There may be a consultation process that your employer is obligated to follow when implementing a redundancy. You should check to see whether any

  • applicable modern award; or
  • enterprise agreement; or
  • employment contract (including policies and procedures of your employer)

requires your employer to consult with employees and/or the relevant union(s) before implementing a redundancy. If these provisions exist, you may be able to argue that they are legally enforceable obligations with which your employer must comply. A failure to comply with a required consultation process under a modern award or enterprise agreement may mean that you can make an unfair dismissal claim even where your job is no longer required to be done by anyone. You have 21 days from the date of your dismissal (retrenchment) to file an unfair dismissal claim at the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

More detailed information including redundancy entitlements, notice of termination, and more can be found in the attached fact sheet, which we recommend you download.

For further support

Call our Telephone Information Service on Melbourne Metro (03) 9662 1933 or Regional Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania on 1800 331 617.

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