Redundancy Entitlements

Redundancy can have a huge and stressful impact.  Various laws are in place to regulate how redundancies should occur, though the laws are complex and if you are made redundant you should seek legal advice to understand your entitlements and how you should be treated. 

WorkLegal can advise you about redundancy rights that may arise from your employment contract, applicable modern award or the National Employment Standard.   We can advise on entitlements to severance or redundancy pay, leave pay, notice of termination and (if applicable) benefits such as share options and bonuses.

We recommend taking advice before accepting an offer of voluntary redundancy.  A WorkLegal lawyer can compare the offer against your base entitlements on redundancy, so you know where you stand. 

If you are facing redundancy or are considering an offer of voluntary redundancy, Call WorkLegal today.

Concerned about your redundancy entitlements? Contact us for early advice.

1300 223 398

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Case Study – Redundancy in the Black Coal Mining Industry

Matthew works as a diesel fitter maintaining machinery in the workshop at an underground black coal mine.  He has been employed for 9 months.  His is told his position is subject to redundancy for de-manning.  He is given a termination letter with 1 week’s termination notice and stating that he will be paid out his accrued untaken annual leave.  The letter says nothing about any other payments.  Matthew sees a lawyer who explains that Matthew’s position is covered by the Black Coal Mining Industry Award which provides for severance pay in his situation and also a payout of his personal leave due to the amount of his accrued leave.   His lawyer also gives Matthew guidance about how to deal with his employer about the underpayments.

Case Study – Failure to Properly Consult with Worker

A business held meetings with staff about measures to ensure the financial viability of the business.

Subsequently the business decided to reduce hours of some staff and make others redundant.  Later that day the business told an administrative employee that they selected her position for redundancy as she would receive a higher income on JobSeeker.

The employee lodged an unfair dismissal claim.  Her claim was successful, for reasons including:

  • Her applicable modern award was not complied with because:
    • Information on changes were not provided in writing and so the applicable modern award was not complied with;
    • She was not consulted after a definite decision to make her redundant was made;
    • There was no discussion with her about measures to avoid or reduce the adverse effects of the changes;
    • Unlike other employees she was not given the option of reducing hours;
  • Saying that she would be better off financially by pursuing JobSeeker was not proper consultation and suggested a decision had already been made.

Her dismissal was unfair and she was compensated for the JobKeeper pay she would have received until the office was closed down.

Rachel Freebairn v Dandiie Pty Ltd and others [2020] FWC 3915 (27 July 2020) 

Losing the job is not easy

Case Study – Failure to Reasonably consider Redeployment

Mr Aldred was a construction worker on the Docklands project.  His employer was a national construction company with over 1000 employees.  He was notified by the employer that his position was no longer required in the project.  When he asked if any other jobs were available, the employer’s representative said he did not know.  No investigation was made within the company about available jobs in other projects and Mr Aldred’s employment was terminated for redundancy.  He applied for unfair dismissal, saying he would have relocated to Queensland to any suitable positions that were available there.  The Fair Work Commission found that Mr Aldred was unfairly dismissed as it would have been reasonable for the employer to redeploy Mr Aldred to another position for which he had suitable qualifications and experience.

Aldred v Hutchinson Pty Ltd [2012] FWA 8289

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