Posts: Redundancy

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Redundancy

Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation September 2020

The Queensland Government recently passed legislation amending the Criminal Code Act 1899 (the Code) to criminalise wage theft by employers in Queensland.‍The Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced to the Queensland Parliament in response to a Report released in 2018 by the Queensland Parliamentary Education, Employment and Small Business Committee following an inquiry into wage theft in Queensland. The Report identified critical issues in wage theft as well as deliberate action taken by employers to frustrate employees’ attempts to recover entitlements.

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Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation August 2020

‍NEWS ALERT - Paid Pandemic Leave introduced into Health Sector Awards Over the course of 2020, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (the Full Bench) has heard and determined applications to vary modern awards to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The FWC, COVID-19 and variations to redundancy pay

Vexed variation

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has a vital role to play in the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to impact employment relationships across the country.

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Employers’ consultation obligations when implementing major workplace change

How was I supposed to know?

When an employer is required to make changes to the workplace which are likely to have significant effects on employees, the employer must ensure that it meets any consultation obligations which might apply under various laws and industrial instruments prior to implementing any redundancies that might arise.

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Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation August 2019

Employee conduct and codes of conduct, employers’ liability and employee out-of-hours conduct, employer in breach of privacy laws, redundancies and suitable alternative employment, workplace bullying and disciplinary action

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FWC reinstates pelican feeder to job 'as rare as hen's teeth'

The Pelican Brief

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently ordered the re-instatement of a dedicated pelican feeder in the San Remo region in southern Victoria who worked only one hour a week, finding that his dismissal was without valid reason and procedural fairness

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Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation July 2019

Workplace investigations and the disciplinary process, labour hire company convicted, review of Miscellaneous Award 2010, recruitment, criminal records and discrimination, sports Law - player suspensions and stand downs

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Unfair dismissal, genuine redundancy and the redistribution of duties

Being genuine

Discussions with employees about restructures and redundancies are difficult and emotions often run high.

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Texting, dismissal and the FWC

Not ok in any (con)text

Terminating an employee’s employment can be a confronting situation. It is difficult news to deliver and is often fuelled with emotion.

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The importance of consultation in the redundancy process

Talk to Me

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) provides that a person will not be unfairly dismissed where the person was dismissed as a result of genuine redundancy.

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Employer fails to demonstrate that redundancies were due to the ordinary and customary turnover of labour

No ordinary job

The FW Act provides a minimum entitlement to redundancy pay in situations where an employee’s position is genuinely made redundant.

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Employee loses redundancy pay after refusing other acceptable employment

Who's the boss?

The FWC has reduced an employee’s entitlement to redundancy pay to nil after an employer successfully argued that it obtained ‘other acceptable employment’ for the employee, which the employee had refused.

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Can a computer be the decision-maker in an adverse action decision?

I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that

As the functionality of HRIS increases and technology generally gets smarter, will an employer’s reliance on the recommendations or decisions of a HRIS put the employer at risk?

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What is proper notice of termination and when does the exception to redundancy pay apply?

Turn around

Some employers operate exclusively on a continuous rotation of cycling client contracts won and lost regularly, but what does it mean for the employees engaged to perform work under those contracts?

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Voluntary redundancies prove too popular

Let me go

While it is often an unpleasant process, in some circumstances (depending on the nature of the workforce) employers may choose to call for expressions of interest for voluntary redundancies before moving to compulsory redundancies.

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Redeployment not appropriate for employee who did not trust manager

Living together in (im)perfect harmony

Most employers have a clear understanding of the importance of cultural “fit” to having a happy and productive workforce. Questions about “fit” usually arise during the recruitment process, but are rarely addressed in circumstances involving redundancy and redeployment.

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Reducing staffing costs and being open with employees

When the going gets tough

When a company is confronted with a downturn in business it can be a very difficult time for both employers and employees. As part of ensuring the financial viability of the business employers are often forced to consider reducing workforce size by way of forced or voluntary redundancies. But, it’s not always the case that an employer needs to resort to redundancies to reduce its wages costs. In a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission, an employer was praised for its efforts to retain staff during a difficult period.

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I'll make you a (redeployment) offer that you cannot refuse!

What is redeployment and acceptable alternative employment?

If the Fair Work Commission (FWC) finds that an employee’s employment was terminated on the basis of a genuine redundancy, the employee does not have access to the unfair dismissal jurisdiction. However, if the employee’s position was made redundant and the FWC finds that redundancy was not genuine, the employee will be entitled to access the jurisdiction.

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Access to the Unfair Dismissal Jurisdiction

Objection!

Employers unfamiliar with the unfair dismissal process often overlook an important part of their response to an unfair dismissal application: whether the former employee is even eligible to make a claim!

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Consultation and genuine redundancy

We don’t talk anymore...

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) requires Enterprise Agreements to include a consultation clause obliging employers to consult with their employees about “major workplace change” or a change in regular rostering or ordinary hours of work.

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FWC finds General Manager’s redundancy based on consultant’s recommendation not genuine

Reinstated and it feels so good

When employers conduct an organisation-wide review of their operations, it can be both an exciting and challenging time. There are significant gains to be made by identifying inefficiencies and addressing them. However, the desire to move too swiftly and rush this process should be avoided. Moving too fast may result in employers either intentionally or unintentionally disregarding their legal obligations to employees.

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Managing workplace restructures

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a …redundancy”

An inevitable fact of a growing business is that at some point it will undergo an organizational restructure. These will undoubtedly affect employees across all levels of the company. Employers should be ready to appropriately manage and communicate these changes to employees.

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Using workplace laws to support HR’s position on staffing decisions

This is how we do it

HR professionals inhabit a unique environment with a unique set of challenges – they are expected to balance compliance, business interests and employee interests all at once. The most difficult position a HR professional can find themself in is being asked to carry out a business decision by a superior that conflicts with their obligations to ensure compliance with workplace laws, including the protections afforded to employees under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

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Can a computer be the decision-maker in an adverse action decision?

I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

As reported this month in HRM Magazine, Futurist Chris Riddell predicts that artificial intelligence will play a key role in business leadership in the next five years. Riddell says, “Artificial Intelligence will start to make decisions and will ‘co-pilot’ the running of business.” But, as the functionality of HRIS increases and technology generally gets smarter, will an employer’s reliance on the recommendations or decisions of a HRIS put the employer at risk?

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Relocation & Redundancy

I like to move it (move it)

The issue of relocating employees from one location to another arises when a business is restructuring, when a site closes down, or when a business decides to move its operations. A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) considered the issues of relocation, redundancy and unfair dismissal.

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Employees reinstated following hasty redundancy consultation

Give me time

Restructuring and redundancies can be difficult under the best of circumstances. Employers have obligations to their employees during these times and sometimes the fast paced demands of the business are at odds with those obligations. In a recent decision, Williams and Ors v Staples Australia Pty Ltd [2017] FWC 607, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) examined the obligations of a particular employer and found that its hasty implementation of redundancies resulted in four unfair dismissals.

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