HRBC Forum Summary

August 2020: Domestic Violence and Working from Home

In our April HR Breakfast Club, BAL Legal Director Gabrielle Sullivan discussed the ins and outs of redundancies – what they are, when they can occur, and how they work.

Gabrielle began the presentation by summarising the redundancy process. She outlined the steps to be taken and considerations to be assessed prior to implementing a redundancy, including: whether the redundancy is genuine; whether redeployment is possible; whether consultation is required; what the relevant notice period is; and how redundancy pay operates. She also defined redundancy and the requirement that any redundancy be genuine.

Gabrielle then delved deeper into the consultation process. She discussed when consultation will be required prior to redundancy as well as the four steps involved. Consultation provisions require an employer to give notice of redundancies, discuss the changes with employees, consider any issues raised and advise employees of the final decision.

Next, the presentation looked redeployment. A redundancy will not be genuine where it would be reasonable to redeploy the employee to another role. Gabrielle outlined an employer’s considerations when assessing whether redeployment would be reasonable, such as the nature of the alternative position and the employee’s skills.

Finally, Gabrielle explored in depth the operation of redundancy payments. Topics discussed included when an employee will be entitled to redundancy pay under the FWA; other sources of entitlement to redundancy pay, such as contracts or awards; how much pay employees are entitled to; and other payments employees may be entitled to upon redundancy, such as payment in lieu of notice and long service leave. Gabrielle also explained how redundancy pay may be reduced or removed if alternative employment is found for an employee, and when such alternative employment will be acceptable. Understanding the law around redundancies is vital for ensuring they are fair, lawful and effective.

To discuss redundancies and their requirements, please contact our Employment Law & Investigations Team for more information.

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