When is redundancy an unfair dismissal?

We are going through a restructure and as part of the process we had to make an employee redundant. However, he brought an unfair dismissal claim and his lawyer says it is not a genuine redundancy. What did we do wrong?

Section 389 of the Fair Work Act 2009 provides that a redundancy will be genuine if the employer no longer requires the job to be done by anyone because of operational changes and the employer has complied with any consultation obligations unless it would have been reasonable to redeploy the employee within the employer’s enterprise or within the enterprise of an associated entity of the employer.

So even if the employee’s job is no longer required to be done by anybody, you will still need to demonstrate there were no reasonable redeployment opportunities within the business and to confirm whether or not the employee was covered by an Award or Agreement, and if so, whether or not the business complied with the consultations provisions under that Award or Agreement.

CCI’s Workplace Consulting Team can also help in drafting such contracts. Call (08) 9365 7600 or email [email protected]

Managing absences

Managing staff absences not only makes good business sense from a cost point of view, but is also a golden opportunity to fully engage with your staff.

Stephen Farrell, senior workplace relations consultant at CCI, will talk about his experiences in developing an absence management process that not only reduced unplanned absences but also developed positive relationships between management and staff.

Farrell says managers should look for patterns of absences – such a staff member calling in sick whenever they are rostered on a Saturday – and engage them in conversation.

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