Being made redundant may be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Sometimes the decision to make someone redundant has been a likely outcome for a long time, and a worker has been able to appropriately prepare for this eventuality. However, in many circumstances, an employer’s decision to make a worker redundant comes out of the blue. This can lead to emotional and financial distress for the worker and their family.
At Websters, we work with clients to determine their rights following a redundancy, and in many circumstances we have successfully secured additional compensation and even had the redundancy decision overturned.
A redundancy occurs when a worker’s employment is terminated because the employer no longer needs the particular job performed by anyone, or they require fewer employees to perform that specific job.
Redundancies are common in situations where a business is downsizing, experiencing severe problems with cash-flow or is undergoing a restructure. Employers also often make decisions regarding redundancy when they adopt new technology that results in certain positions being unnecessary.
Workers under the Federal industrial relations scheme are assured redundancy entitlements pursuant to the National Employment Standards (NES). Although the NES establishes the minimum applicable redundancy entitlements, alternative entitlements can be included in employment contracts, Awards, Enterprise Agreements or even company policies. State Public Sector and Local Government workers have different rules that apply to redundancy entitlements.
Redundancy pay is designed to provide some compensation to a worker who has lost the security of employment and incurred financial hardship as a result of the redundancy. Many workers who are made redundant do not consider the redundancy payment to be sufficient.
Not every employee is entitled to redundancy pay including workers who have been employed casually, workers who were employed by small businesses (with fewer than 15 employees), workers who were only employed on a fixed term contract basis, etc.
The laws regarding redundancy are complex, and the expert industrial lawyers at Websters can provide thorough advice regarding whether or not the redundancy was indeed ‘genuine’. If you have been made redundant or you are worried that a redundancy is imminent, speak with one of our lawyers immediately.