Redundancy

US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom

US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom!!Well, I’m shocked, three weeks out from Xmas, only in America as the saying goes.

US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom, looking at laptop stressed

US boss sacks 900 employees. Being sacked can be devastating, we understand that. There has to be an aspect of fairness, we are all human beings.

US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom

I could believe it when i read this article. I thought i have to write something on this. This about as strong as a unfair dismissal as it gets. Other than in the U.S. they do not have these laws to protect their workforce.

Outline of the sackings

The boss of a US firm has been criticized after he sacked around 900 of his staff on a single Zoom call. You reckon!

“If you’re on this call you’re part of the unlucky group being laid off,” said Vishal Garg, chief executive of mortgage firm Better.com, on the call, later uploaded to social media. Comments on social media said it was “cold”, “harsh” and “a horrible move”, especially in the run up to Christmas. “Last time I did [this] I cried,” Mr Garg told the staff on the call.

“I wish the news were different. I wish we were thriving,” he said. This time his tone was measured and he referred to notes on the desk in front of him. Mr Garg said staff performance and productivity, and market changes lay behind the mass-firing of what he said was 15% of Better.com’s workforce. He didn’t mention the $750m (£565m) cash infusion Better.com received from investors last week.

Better.com’s chief finance officer, Kevin Ryan, told the BBC: “Having to conduct layoffs is gut-wrenching, especially this time of year.” He added, however, that having “a fortress balance sheet and a reduced and focused workforce” was necessary to take on the “radically evolving homeownership market”.

After the firing Fortune magazine confirmed that Mr Garg was the author of a previously written anonymous blog post in which he accused sacked staff at his firm of “stealing” from their colleagues and customers by being unproductive and only working two hours a day, while claiming for eight or more. The company, which aims to use technology to make the house buying process “faster and more efficient”, is backed by Japanese conglomerate Softbank and is worth around $6bn (£4.53bn).

https://news.yahoo.com/us-boss-fires-900-employees-185041934.html

Wouldn’t Happen Here

US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom, would not happen in Australia. The Fair work Act, and the Commission decisions that flow from these prohibit this type of approach. The reality is the US does not have unfair dismissal laws as we know it. (their laws prohibit discrimination). The US economy is the most dynamitic in the world. (Japan has the most advanced, China has plenty of cheap labor). It ramps up very quickly, adjust and reacts to changing circumstances with speed, far better than Australia, no doubt about this. So why haven’t we adopted the same approach here?. Its about the human cost.

Those 900 employees, their families, what’s the impact this decision and the way it was implemented, going to have, financially, psychologically?. All this in a country where a good percentage of people carry guns around!

US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom
Dismissed under any circumstances is stressful, really there care no winners.

Cannot get sacked, dismissed in the first two years of employment

Europe is the other way. In France, Greece you cannot get sacked, dismissed in the first two years of employment. So in many instances companies aren’t to keen to put people on for what’s could be perceived as a temporary high in the economy (Xmas, Easter, sale days etc). Because they cannot get rid of you. Good if you’ve got a job, you have the security that goes with that. But young people, Muslim youth, older people not not given a bit of a start. They don’t get the opportunity, the ability to prove yourself, that your worth training because the employer cannot move you on if its not working out.

US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom. So what’s the answer?

I think Australia’s got it about right. Work for a company of less 15 employees you have be employed twelve months before you can lodge a unfair dismissal claim. If the company employees 15 employees or more, the qualifying period is six months. I get it, if your the employee that been terminated and there’s nothing you can do about it, you are distinctly unhappy. Your hopes, happiness, certainty about income dies a sudden death.

Be aware there is a very strictly enforced 21 days to lodge a unfair dismissal or general protections claim. Unless you have what’s referred to as exceptional circumstances (which are few), your stuck. Another option if your outside the 21 day rule is to lodge a discrimination complaint (only if you have a legitimate claim). This is with the relevant commission or tribunal, there is a loosely enforced twelve month rule that applies.

Allows young people to get experience

However this approach allows employers to put employees on to trial them, and then hopefully they get longer term tenure. It allows young people to get experience. Older people to still have some opportunity. Women to return to work after being off for some time. Interestingly enough employees ring me up and say these are unfair rules.

Without getting into the politics , this was labor party legislation, in the Gillard / Rudd era. So the party for the worker, think these rules are OK. It would be remise of me not to point out you, you still may have a right for lodging a general protections claim, for unlawful dismissal. Your welcome to give us a call regarding this.

Lost Opportunity

The other difficult situation is when your out in the job market, and you have various options, as to who you can go and work for. Or you get two job offers, which one do you take?. Because your don’t want to accept a job offer to only be told after three months, your “not a good fit”, “its just not working out”, we are letting you go. In many instances your simply not sure which job to take, which job to apply for, of course everybody wants to work for an employer that gives you job security, and treats you with respect.

being sacked unfairly
Nobody should be treated this way, young people, and older workers should not be bullied, harassed. Then sacked because their performance drops caused by the behaviors of the employer.

You do not have to agree to a probation period

Be aware you do not have to agree to a probation period, you can have this specifically spelt out in your employment contact. If its not then a probation period automatedly applies. You cannot contract out of the qualifying period set out in the Fair work Act (2009), but it does mean you could have common law rights, in that you can take your employer to court. If the economic loss is significant, if the lost opportunity is there because you gave up other job opportunities, it may be worth perusing. You need advice from an experienced lawyer.

Conclusion: US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom

Want to discuss “US boss sacks 900 employees over Zoom”, what’s happened to you, call us, happy to chat. We are A Whole New Approach P/L, we are not lawyers, or a government agency. AWNA are independent workplace advisors. Leaders in advocacy work, representation and research on all matters relating to the workplace. Any diversity in the workplace issues, termination of employment. Any Fair work Australia and Fair work Commission matters, including being sacked (dismissed), general protections, workplace investigations.

We are the publisher (Gary Pinchen) of some 200 articles and the leaders in workplace commentary and research. We work in all states, including Victoria, NSW, QLD, Tas, SA, WA, NT. Want compensation, find out “how much is my unfair dismissal case worth

Another article that may be of interest to you regarding being sacked, click here

The damage (grief) losing your job can do, click here

Proving your unfair dismissal, this article will assist you, click here

How to beat the sack, click here

Redundancy Rendered Unfair Dismissal, No Consultation

Redundancy-Rendered-Unfair-Dismissal-No-Consultation
Consultation is important

What is a case of Genuine Redundancy?

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to have a significant detrimental effect on many Australian businesses. Consequently, employers are looking to cut costs wherever possible and thus, there has been an increasing number of redundancies this last year. Although most redundancy cases are for a genuine reason. A recent decision before the Fair work Commission in Victoria has found that an employer’s failure to comply with their consultation obligations, rendered an employee’s dismissal unfair. Redundancy Rendered Unfair Dismissal, No Consultation, is an important topic, that needs to be addressed. This case has demonstrated the importance of proper procedure for redundancy and unfair dismissal claims in Victoria.

A dismissal is a case of genuine redundancy.

This is where the employer has satisfied the three elements under s.389 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

The first requirement under this section is determining whether the job is still available. If your job no longer exists or is no longer required by the employer, your redundancy is likely to be genuine. If your job is still available but there has been a restructure or downsizing, the Fair work Commission will look to the remaining two factors in determining whether the redundancy is genuine.

The second requirement under this section is the employer’s obligation to consult with employees about the redundancy. The obligation on an employer to consult about redundancy only arises when a modern award or enterprise agreement applies. To an employee and that modern award or enterprise agreement contains requirements (which they often do) to consult about redundancy.

The third element that the employer must satisfy is whether it would have been reasonable in all of the circumstances for the person to be redeployed within the employer’s enterprise. Or the enterprise of an associated entity of the employer. If the employer does not consult with an employee, then it is arguably that the reasonable steps have not been taken to redeploy the employee as no discussion took place and so no alternatives were assessed.

If the employer fails to satisfy all three of these requirements, the Fair Work Commission must then determine whether the dismissal was unfair.

Redundancy-Rendered-Unfair-Dismissal-No-Consultation
Process is so important, employees with pending redundancies still have rights

Redundancy was Rendered an Unfair Dismissal,

No Consultation COVID-19 Restrictions in Victoria No Excuse for Not Consulting

In Sposito v Maori Chief Hotel,[1] a Victorian employee was made redundant but argued it was in fact an unfair dismissal. Because she was misled into believing that the employer was permanently ceasing its operations. Instead, the employee alleged the employer had since hired two casual staff members to perform her duties.

In response to the first element under s.389 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Commissioner Cirkovic of the Fair Work Commission held that the employee’s job was no longer required because of changes in the operational requirements of the employer’s enterprise. Whilst two former casual employees have since been re-engaged by the Respondent, it was found that these employees perform other duties and not those the employee completed.

In response to the second element under s.389 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Commissioner Cirkovic of the held that the employer failed to satisfy their consultation obligations and thus, the dismissal was not a case of genuine redundancy.

Employee was award covered

In reaching this conclusion, Commissioner Cirkovic acknowledged the employee was award-covered and there was a requirement to notify the employee of major changes in the organisation that are likely to effect her employment. During the hearing, the employer admitted that they did not engage in any such discussions.

The employer simply sent her the letter advising her of her redundancy, effective on the expiry of five weeks’ notice. The employer argued it was a “stressful period”, “unusual circumstances”. His belief that any conversation with the employee regarding her termination would be “emotionally charged”. Further, the employer argued that due to the restrictions associated with the lockdown, the employer was reluctant to contact the employee as they could not meet “face to face”.

Submissions for unfair dismissal unacceptable

Commissioner Cirkovic did not accept these submissions and held there was nothing preventing the employer from contacting the employee via telephone or arranging to speak to her via other means.

In response to the third element under s.389 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Commissioner Cirkovic held that it would not have been reasonable for the employee to be redeployed. Given the directors reasonably believed that at the time of the employee’s dismissal, they would be closed for the foreseeable future.

Commissioner Cirkovic then addressed the criteria under s.387 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). In order to determine whether the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. It was acknowledged that determining a dismissal was not a case of genuine redundancy does not necessarily lead to a conclusion that the dismissal was unfair. Rather, the Commission proceeds to consider the unfair dismissal application on its merits.

loved-my-job-i-should-not-be-redundant
It was a great job, the companies making money, everybody likes me. I got a good performance review. As far as I’m concerned there is no need to make me redundant. That’s why consultation is so important. Employees who have done nothing wrong understand why their out the front gate.

No valid reason

As the reason for the employee’s dismissal was redundancy, there was no valid reason in relation to capacity or conduct. Consequently, opportunity to respond and previous warnings are not relevant. Commissioner Cirkovic did acknowledge the employer is a small business with no internal human resources expertise. This likely affected their approach to dismissing the employee.

Ultimately, Commissioner Cirkovic held that if the employer had complied with their consultation obligations, and engaged in discussions with the employee about their decision and potential measures to reduce its impact on her, the employee could have had further notice of the impending termination of her employment. It was held that the dismissal was not unreasonable or unjust however, the employer’s failure to comply with the consultation provision in the Award renders the dismissal unfair.

Redundancy Rendered Unfair Dismissal, No Consultation.

This case demonstrates the importance of not cutting corners in the dismissal or redundancy process. Utilizing COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria as an excuse for why procedural fairness wasn’t afforded, is not an acceptable argument. If you have been made redundant by your employer, ensure that all the requirements have been satisfied. Otherwise, your redundancy may not be genuine and may constitute unfair dismissal.

get-help-with-your-redundancy
Many employers use the excuse of redundancy to dismiss employees. “Sorry we have had a restructure”. “We are losing money”. “Things are quite at the moment”. Its the easy way out for employers. Without having to go through proper process as required by the Fair work Act. For performance, warning, whatever. Your a victim of this, or think this is happening to you, call us

Conclusion

“Redundancy Rendered Unfair Dismissal, No Consultation”. I hope there was some benefit in this article for you. This is part of our ongoing commitment to employees knowing their workplace rights. Your always welcome to get advice from us at A Whole New Approach P/l. We are not lawyers, but Australia’s leading workplace advisors and workplace commentary.

Advise is free, prompt and honest. 1800 333 666. workplace investigations, unfair dismissals, harassment, constructive dismissals. Anything to do with the workplace call us to day. Issues to do with termination of employments and diversity in the workplace we are happy to discuss with you.

An article on redundancy that may be assistance for you, click here

Redundancy and employer obligations, click here

Post dismissal behaviour, click here

no-win-no-fee
Redundancy times can be difficult, when will i get another job? Will my redundancy pay last? We are happy to carry the risk and expense of your claim.

[1] [2021] FWC 700.

Redundancy: Billion $ Companies Obligations

Redundancy:-Billion-$-Companies- Obligations
It’s tough times, the standard of living is falling. House hold cost are on the increase. Keeping that job is so important. Bureau of Statistics February 2022 indicate a 80 % increase in sick leave by employees in Australia. This reflects, increasingly stressful workplaces.

Redundancy: Billion $ Companies Obligations

Redundancy: Billion $ Companies Obligations. This is a great topic to discuss. If a small company have tough times, I understand that, but not companies of this size, I’m not saying they have to give away free money, but they must meet their legal and moral obligations. I think we can all agree with that. Lets discuss and work through, what really are redundancies.

“What the world needs now is solidarity. With solidarity we can defeat the virus and build a better world” – United Nations Secretary – General Antonio Guterres. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic. Which is one of the most unprecedented and uncertain times in all our lives.

As the World Health Organization (2020) explains, the coronavirus is an infectious disease which mainly affects the respiratory system. Where many countries, including Australia, have spent hundreds or billions of dollars in attempt to stop the spread. Not only have we seen it have a massive strain upon our health system, but also our economy. Aa a result, both business owners and employees are left to suffer from the economic impact the virus has had on many levels.

Forced to cut jobs

As months, even weeks and days pass by during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown companies are being forced to cut jobs. Even shut their operations overall. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020), in April. 594,300 people lost their jobs due to the coronavirus and restrictions placed by the Government. The following month the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020) reported another 227,700 jobs were cut due to the coronavirus.

Redundancy-Billion-$-Companies- Obligations
Concerned about if he’s going to be made redundant

Its tough out there

Many businesses rely on customers physically visiting their premises. Especially those within the hospital and retail industries, such as café owners. Therefore, having the Government restrictions in place that enforce the 1.5 meter social distancing rule. Mandatory sign-ins, prepared COVID-safe plans and capping the number of patrons allowed inside venues in hope to stop the spread. Especially even more so in Victoria. Where the state is currently in Stage 3 restrictions where citizens are only allowed to leave their homes for ‘essential’ reasons. With cafes and restaurants only being allowed to offer food and drinks take-away. As a result, these businesses are left suffering as there is no option for their employees to work from home or at all beneath these restrictions.

There is the JobKeeper Payment from the Australian Government to help more Australians in the workforce and support businesses affected by the economic impact the Coronavirus. On 21 July 2020 the Government announced further restrictions upon eligibility and payment rates. Therefore, despite this JobKeeper Payment scheme, if an employer is not eligible to redeploy their employees and minimize the cost of operating their company they are left with the difficult decision to have to make certain roles within their companies redundant.

Redundancies

Redundancies occur when an employer decides to reduce their workforce because a job or jobs are no longer required.

There are many reasons why a company may decide to make an employee redundant, to which is no reflection upon the employees ability to perform a role but rather:

• New technology making the role unnecessary;
• Role the employee was hired to complete no longer exists;
• Employer needs to cut costs by reducing staff numbers;
• Business is restructuring;
• Business is closing down or moving;
• The business has been bought by another company;
• A significant or delayed downturn in business.

Likewise, a company may decide to make an employee redundant due to the unfortunate effect the Coronavirus has had on their business. Where as a result the role is no longer necessary or the business cannot afford the role anymore. However, this redundancy must be genuine. Beneath the Fair Work Act 2009, an employee can make an application of unfair dismissal to the Fair Work Commission where they believe their dismissal was not a genuine redundancy.

Redundancy-Billion-$-Companies- Obligations
Of course the employer is open for business, but where do the staff fit in the new pandemic era?

What is a genuine redundancy?

To be eligible for an unfair dismissal claim, they must ensure they are covered by a Modern Award. If an enterprise agreement applies to them and have completed the minimum employment period. To which is one year for employees of a small business (ie a business with less than 15 employees). Six months for an employer who is not a small business.

A genuine redundancy is where an employee is being dismissed as the employer does not require their role to be filled anymore. Furthermore, a redundancy will be genuine where the employees role cannot be performed by anyone. If due to changes in the operational requirements of the company.

A redundancy will not be genuine if the employer:• Still requires the employees role to be done by someone;
• Could have reasonably, within the circumstances, provided the employee another job within the employer’s business;
• Has not followed the consultation requirements as required by the relevant Modern Award of enterprise barganining agreement.

Not only is it important that if an employer decides to make a role redundant, that it must be genuine. But also that consultation process took place. The consultation process outlines the things that the employer needs to do when they decide to make changes to the company that will likely cause redundancies to take place. This must occur as soon as possible after this decision has been made.

What does consultation require?

The consultation requirements include the employer:

• Notifying the employee who may be affected by this change;
• Providing the employee with information regarding this change and the expected effects;
• Disclosing the steps taken to avoid and minimize the negative effects on the employee;
• Considering the employees ideas or suggestions regarding this change.

Interestingly, in the decision of UES (Int’l) Pty Ltd v Harvey. An employee was made redundant due to the employer not requiring this role anymore as there was a decline in business. However, it was found not to be of a genuine redundancy, as the employer did not consult with this employee.

Are there any alternatives an employer can take before considering redundancy?

A redundancy should always be an option of last result. An employer should value their employees and their hard work, especially during these harsh times the pandemic. Therefore, instead an employer can consult their employees about the following options:

• Taking leave, for a specific period an employer can ask an employee to consider taking out paid leave or unpaid leave. Whilst the business is placed beneath these restrictions or otherwise applicable.

• Job sharing with another employee or part-time work. An employer may ask an employee to change their employment contract hours down to part-time or share the hours and duties with another employee.

• Reducing in hours or pay. An employer may ask an employee to reduce the amount of hours they are working at the company or take a temporay pay cut. However, these reductions must still meet or be above the minimum requirements of the Modern Award system.

• Non-contractual benefits, an employer may decide to reduce or stop the monetary benefits they provide to their staff as an attempt to lower costs and expenditure. This may include bonuses, company cars and etc.

These options need to be agreed with both the employer and the employee. If an employer changes the conditions of an employees employment. Or force them to agree to do so, they will be able to take action against this employer.

Employees-have-the-right-to-be-treated-fairly
Employees have the right to be treated fairly. This shouldn’t change regardless of economic conditions.

Redundancies and The Role Businesses Play in the continuing pandemic

There is no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions placed by the Government have had a massive impact upon businesses. Especially those small business owners. Where they cannot afford to pay rent, utility bills as well as employees wages, just to make a few take away coffees a day. Especially on weekends, where they must pay penalty rates up to two times the award rate. These small businesses are suffering at the hands of these restrictions.

However, how about those extremely wealthy billion dollar companies who have no legal or moral obligation to keep their employees employed. Where despite having the financial means to do so, after decades of making money. At the first opportunity they see to reduce their payroll, they do so and claim it is a “genuine redundancy”.

In recent news, there has been news of various billion dollar companies who have announced job losses so far, including the following:

• Virgin: After being placed in voluntary administration back in March, the company had to stand down over 80% of its employees. Where these employees have not been told when they can return, if ever.

• Qantas: In June, the company announced they would permanently cut more than 6,000 jobs due to the strain the coronavirus pandemic has had on the company. The jobs being cut include office roles, cabin crew, engineering roles and pilots. This announcement came as a shock to the public. Especially after Virgin were placed into voluntary administration and leaving Australian’s with no choice but to fly with Qantas.

• Flight Centre: Due to the closure of international borders and the Government restrictions, Flight Centre have temporarily stood down or making redundant 3,800 Australian sales and support staff. Although the company also made those staff working offshore redundant, how many remain? Did they decide to cut the work of hard-working Australian employees before those cheaper, off-shore employees?

• Woolworths: In June, made the announcement that the automation of its warehouse would eliminate about 700 jobs in both Sydney and Melbourne. How is it that a company who made money off Australian’s stock piling toilet paper earlier in the year are now cutting jobs of Australian’s during a pandemic when they need it most.

• Myer: Last month, Myer announced that they were cutting 90 jobs in head office whilst they try and get through the coronavirus sales downturn.

• Target: The Wesfarmers group announced in May that they would be turning up to 167 Target and Target Country stores into Kmart. Or just shut down. Where subsequently, they would be reducing up to 1,300 roles over the next year. There has been discussion for years regarding the triumph of Kmart over Target. However why is it now during a pandemic that the group decide to shut down Target stores?

• Big Four Professional Services Firms: Recently, PwC announced they would be cutting around 400 employees from their financial advisory, support and consulting sectors. This represents around 5% of its workforce within Australia. Similarly, Deloitte announced that they would be cutting 700 from 10,000 employees in Australia, due to the Coronavirus pandemic causing a decrease in revenue and operating profit. Lastly, despite majority of KPMG’s Australian workforce agreeing to accept a 20 per cent pay cut, they further cut 200 consulting jobs.

Employer-feeling-good-the-days-over- after-dismissing-5-employees-today
Employer feeling good, the days over after dismissing 5 employees today

Redundancy Commentary

“I have been made redundant before and it is a terrible blow; redundant is a rotten word because it makes you feel useless” – Billy Connolly. This comment is so true

Under any circumstance, being made redundant is never ideal for any employee. Where employees spend years, even decades working at a company. They work hard and give these companies their all. Some employees even miss out on their children’s birthdays, or other important milestones in their lives as they are hardworking and dedicated to their job. Just to be told in the end they are no longer required.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has a destructive impact upon our economy, both domestically and internationally. Where the Governmental restrictions placed in attempt to stop the spread of the virus, has had a massive impact upon both employers and employees alike. Where companies are being forced to cut jobs, or even shut their operations overall. Although there are Government incentives, such as the JobKeeper Payment to help Australians within the workforce and support businesses affected by the economic impact the Coronavirus has. Not all employees or business owners are eligible. Thus, leaving many employers with the difficult decision to have to make certain roles within their companies redundant.

Where an employee has been made ‘genuinely redundant’, then this will be viewed as a valid reason for a dismissal. Similarly, employers are required to consult with their employees before making the decision to make a role redundant. However, sadly this is not the case for many hard-working Australian employees. Where they are not offered the opportunity to relocate, or perhaps reduce their hours. Rather, they are shown the door and left without a job during a global pandemic, with bills and a family to support.

Redundancy excuses

Time and time again we see employers using factors ‘out of their control’, such as the Coronavirus, to give grounds for redundancies. This may be to push out an employee to save costs, or because they are older, injured or ill. This is not only an injustice to the Australian workforce, but just straight outrageous.

Don't-end-being-the-employee-that- gets-burnt-through-the-redundancy- process
Don’t end being the employee that gets burnt through the redundancy process.

Claim its a genuine redundancy

What is even more shameful are the extremely wealthy billion dollar companies who use the first opportunity they see to reduce their payroll. Then claim it as a “genuine redundancy”. Yes there are small businesses who cannot afford to pay their staff penalty rates just to make a few take away coffees, due to the coronavirus restrictions. But how about those companies who have spent decades generating gross amounts of revenue and operating profit. Those who can afford to do the right thing and keep their employees on the payroll, and yet decide not to.

They decide to make thousands of Australian jobs redundant, while often keeping those cheaper off-shore jobs employed. Leaving these hard working Australian’s without any means of income during a global health pandemic. Where not only will they struggle to financially support themselves and their families, but the prospect of finding a new job is unlikely. Due to the increase of unemployment.

Here at “A Whole New Approach”, we receive calls daily from employees of companies with 10 – 20 years of service. Where many of these employees are in their 50’s, feeling as though they are unlikely to be able to be re-employed, especially during a pandemic. What all these employees share is the feeling of confusion, many even blaming themselves and questioning what they did wrong?

However, the answer is nothing, they have done nothing wrong

If you or someone you know has been made redundant from their job, due to the coronavirus there is a good chance that it may not be a genuine redundancy. Similarly, if you were made redundant due to the virus without consultation or were replaced shortly after, this is not a genuine redundancy.

Rather, it may have been an attempt for an employer to cover up the real reason for wanting to terminate this employee. Such as to cut their payroll costs. Or perhaps they are discriminating against this employee upon grounds of a protected attribute such as their race, sex, age, disability, marital status or family/carer’s responsibilities. If so, this employee may be eligible for an Unfair Dismissal Application to The Fair Work Commission.

If you would like to discuss a potential unfair dismissal or unlawful termination application, or for advice please call us for a free consultation. Call 1800 333 666 . You have nothing to loose. Please keep in mind an application of unfair dismissal must be lodged within 21 days of your dismissal.

Don’t wait until the last moment to fight for your rights as an employee, as it may be too late.

“Action is the foundational key to all success” – Pablo Picasso

reaching-out-for-help-i-have-been dismissed unfairly
Getting help after being dismissed by being made redundant (but my job is still there)

Redundancy: Billion $ Companies Obligations

We are leading workplace advisors, any concerns, issues, just want to talk about your redundancy situation. Give us a call, its certainly tough times out there, and knowing your rights is so much more important. “every kick has to be a winner” as they say. We can represent you in any workplace matter, all Fair work Commission matters, including unfair dismissals, general protections claims.

Redundancies now and the future click here

Employee rights and the pandemic, click here

Redundancy laws what do they mean, click here

Call 1800 333 666, explore your options, tell us your story

Redundancy Now and The Future

The-future-in-2022/23-is-going-to-be- uncertain.
The future in 2022/23 is going to be uncertain.

Redundancy Now and The Future

Redundancy, Now and The Future, is very relevant as we head into mid 2022. In the age of the pandemic and the uncertain times ahead for the Australian economy, we are seeing jobs being made redundant left, right and center. Restructures are every day occurrences as we come out of lock downs and working from home.

Some are genuine, some may not be. some are just about cutting your pay, by replacing you with a cheaper worker. In consideration of the impending recession, (interest rates will be going up), the previous difficulty of proving whether a genuine redundancy has occurred or not, has become infinitely harder to establish.

In saying this, we still encourage individuals to exhaust all their options and arguments to protect their jobs if they have been made redundant, and to do so by calling us for a free consultation to determine whether you can retain our advisory and representative services for your redundancy.

Redundancy-Now-and-The-Future
Be indispensable, what can i do to ad value to this business. How can i make my employers life easy.. Everybody got to bring something to the table.

Act before the dismissal

However, we at A Whole New Approach are not writing this article to focus on what to do after a redundancy occurs. But what you can do before a possible termination of your employment. With the collective sentiment to save our jobs and prevent further losses of jobs and livelihood, we implore workers in Australia to realize the seriousness of our economic situation and act on it.

This means that you should act sensibly when following your employer’s reasonable requests to work an additional shift per week. Or to pick up extra responsibilities that are within your capabilities. As long as your employer is being reasonable – and that is the key word – you should do everything in your power to stay within your employer’s good books. To protect yourself from financial hardship after being dismissed for failing to follow a reasonable direction.

Lack of flexibility

Allot of employees are made redundant, whether fairly or unfairly because of the lack of flexibility by them in the workplace, its a a new era in the workplace now. The days of that’s “not in my job description”. “I’m not paid to do that” are gone.

Redundancy-Now-and-The-Future
Be in the “A” team as the saying goes. avoid the redundancy. 30-40 years ago redundancies could have been quite lucrative. 3-4 weeks pay per year of service. Even lump sum payouts. Not anymore, most employers refer to the NES (national employment standards). The payout will only take you so far. If you work for a company of less than 15 employees there is no redundancy payout. Far better to keep that job.


Uncertain times are leading to more dismissals

Although it is uncertain times for employees, it is equally, if not more uncertain times for employers. Particularly that of small businesses. Therefore, it would not hurt for employees to be considerate to their employers also and to think about whether the industry you are working in has potentially suffered under the pandemic, same as yourself. This mutual understanding between employee and employer will undoubtedly benefit you in giving you the best chance of retaining your job through the hard times and coming out on the other side for the better.

Our firm receive a multitude of calls weekly where Australian employees ask whether it is within their right to reject their employer’s requests. We have received calls from a health care professional working in an aged home wondering if she could be terminated for refusing to take the mandatory flu shot provided by the employer. A casual employees benefiting from the JobKeeper subsidy inquiring whether it’s okay for them to refuse to work a couple more hours than their previous average before COVID-19 times.

Some employees will not give an inch. Its not a war out there in worker land as some unions would have you believe. A collaborative approach to the workplace is no bad thing.

You-don't-want-to-be-the-employee- who-is-waiting-for-others-to-decide-his- future
You don’t want to be the employee who is waiting for others to decide his future. Of course sometimes its out of your hands, just do your best is all i’m saying.

Be reasonable: Redundancy Now and The Future

The answer we will always give is this – Be. Reasonable. If the employer is being genuine in their request, you should give them the benefit of the same treatment. We should all help each other, as people who all live in Australia. In the collective effort to survive these hard and trying times and to come out stronger. Avoid (if possible) the redundancy list! At the end of the day if this fail at least you know you tried. you can look your family in the face, your employer in the face and state it was not my fault.

Lets look at the figures

According to the Bureau of Statistics February 2022

  1. Under employment was 6.6%
  2. Unemployment was 563,300 persons
  3. Youth unemployment 9.3%

People working fewer hours due to own illness, injury or sick leav

There continued to be a higher than usual number of people working reduced or no hours due to illness or sick leave in February. There were 590,000 people working fewer or zero hours due to their own illness, injury or sick leave. This was around 50% higher than the average of the previous six Februarys.

The increase in people working no hours at all during the week because they were sick in February was 221,800, about 80% higher than the previous six Februarys.

Labor Force, Australia February 2022

The Australian Government is stating we have near record low unemployment (which is true). I’m trying to make the point its still tough out there. What will be the cost if you have transition from one job to another. Maybe out of work 3-4 months. How long will this take for you to financially catch up. two years?. Or the point I’m making try and keep the existing job. Stay away from that redundancy, that dismissal.

Redundancy, Now and The Future,

This article “Redundancy Now and The Future” continues our series on workplace issues. Want to contribute to the discussion, have a concern or question, call now. We are A Whole New Approach P/L. We are not lawyers, but the nations leading workplace advisors. All Fair work Commission matters, anything to do with the workplace that’s us, unfair dismissal, adverse action claims, etc. Probation issues, worker’s rights, employment rights, abandonment of employment concerns call today, get free advice, its prompt, honest and confidential. We work in all states. Vic, NSW, Qld, Tas, SA, WA
Call us on 1800 333 666

AWDR is web site we own, 150 pages of workplace related information, enjoy

Articles similar to Redundancy, Now and The Future

Redundancy during the pandemic, what are your right?, click here

Redundancy laws what do they mean?, click here

Unfair dismissal what’s my case worth?, click here

Workplaces, 17 points you should know about, click here

Replaced By A Cheaper Worker

replaced-by-a-cheaper-worker
Its tough out there, cost of living pressures, petrol, the list is endless. None of us can keep working / living for less money. This is usually reflected in that our wages don’t keep pace with inflation, the cost of living.

Replaced by a cheaper worker

Replaced By A Cheaper Worker is particularly relevant at the moment. The current economic environment has put employers are under pressure to reduce their workforce for reasons such as reducing their cost base. Higher paid employees, especially those with a shorter service with the company are being replaced by cheaper workers. There is much lower cost to the employer for making an employee redundant who has been in employment for a shorter time. As there is 21 days for an employee to make a claim via unfair dismissal or general protections, many employers just wait the time out before advertising the role at a reduced salary.

Replaced By A Cheaper Worker

This was highlighted recently in the Fair Work Commission decision by Deputy President Mansini (5th June 2020). The unfair dismissal case of Toni Perret v Ayers Real Estate U2020/6336 when the employee only after the 21 day time to lodge a claim had expired sited their position on “seek.com.au” and “indeed.com”. It appeared the only change was the title of the position had changed and it was indicated the “new” position will be at a reduced salary. This dismissal at its worst, we live in a country where we all are supposed to do better than this.

The Deputy President clearly could see what was going on here, indicated that it met the “exceptional circumstances” test and has allowed the unfair dismissal claim to proceed although out of time.

Employer-offering-an-employee-a-new-deal
Employer offering you a new deal, think your response through carefully. There are several articles below you can click on, how to respond, how to negotiate.

Claim age discrimination

Being replaced by a cheaper worker is not the only discrimination to be found. If your replacement is younger, there is a chance you could claim age discrimination. This can be tough but sometimes it’s too obvious to ignore – especially if the younger person is also cheaper.

Other vgroups we see dismissed by way of redunancy are

  1. Workers compensations victims.
  2. Older employees developing health issues
  3. Women on maternity leave.
  4. Employees who ask for a pay rise, complaining about there has been no pay rise for years.

Unfair dismissal, redundancy in changing times

I saw this behaviour at the end of the mining boom. Where many miners were on extraordinary wages, and mining companies were on a mission to average their payroll down. Usually, as an employee left or was dismissed they would be replaced by a cheaper worker. This time around with the worst economic conditions in anybody’s lifetime, many companies will not wait.

A favorite way employers are dismissing employees is by serious misconduct. A cursory workplace investigation occurs, then its found that you need to be terminated. What’s the benefits to the employer?

Replaced by a cheaper worker./

Don’t have to pay notice (could be up to 5 weeks pay

Forfeiture of long service leave, could be up to 10-12 weeks pay.

In some industries ie, the mining or construction industries where employees can be on $3-4,000 per week. The potential savings to the employer cannot be ignored particularly when they are under cost reduction pressures.

Replaced-By-A-Cheaper-Worker
Employee was refused a pay rise. In fact the employer took the opportunity to want to reduce the employees overall package. Slight of hand its called. Does the employee stay or resign? He’s done nothing wrong.

Mergers and Buyouts

Across gender, occupation and age groups, employees in high-pay categories display a higher probability, relative to their control group, of separating from the firm after the buyout.

Employees who leave after a buyout are significantly more expensive than those who stay. In the year before the closing of the deal, men, managers and older employees who would leave post-buyout are paid 8.7 percent, 6.9 percent and 16.8 percent more than those who stay, in each respective category.

To be clear, the target firms do not reduce total headcount. Staffing numbers remain equivalent, but expensive men and managers are replaced with new employees of the same category but cheaper. As for older employees, they are replaced by younger (hence cheaper) employees. Remaining employees, including younger ones, experience small pay increases.

Newly hired men and managers are paid 13 percent and 12 percent less on average than employees in these two categories (inclusive of both those who left and those who stayed). Finally, firms hire fewer older employees to replace those who separated from the firm: Relative to control firms, the share of old employees at target firms after the buyout declines by 6 percent.

https://knowledge.insead.edu/economics-finance/the-unexpected-role-of-pe-firms-in-reducing-within-firm-pay-inequality-17801
dismissed-to-make-way-for-a-cheaper- worker
Dismissed to make way for a cheaper worker. Employee was told her colleagues were willing to work for less money. Would she do the same? Refused, now been made redundant in a co called new restructure

Contracted labor

A lot of larger companies are contracting out the maintenance of services. By outsourcing it can be done cheaper. This has been going on for years. An example of this is Telstra out sourced the maintenance of its exchanges to IBM. So what’s wrong with that? Nothing IBM probably doing the work cheaper and better. This is business decision, its not for me to tell Telstra how to run itself. Mind you, you feel sorry for the 1000’s of Telstra workers out of work.

The real issue is the outsourcing for an example by the big mining companies. Where they have their own work forced and then supposedly supplemented by contact labor from labor hire companies at reduced labor rates. Usually on a casual basis. So you end up with two classes of workers on different pay grades doing the same job. A clever way of reducing wages. Employees will still work for the labor hire companies because the wages are still quite lucrative. But that not the point, its becoming a slippery slide as more and more migrant workers come in and take casual reduced pay roles.

How to reduce salaries (Replaced By A Cheaper Worker)

The above comments raise “how to reduce salaries” to a whole new level, its clever how to reduce cost. There are consulting firms that its all they do, reduce wages, get around the unions. The Fair work Act and any other government body that’s in the way of the seller and the buyer making more money. Without getting off point here, don’t be naïve that the company will look after you, I hope they do. Look at Jobkeeper scheme, it achieved the purpose for which it was set out for. To stop business from going broke during the early days of the pandemic.

But billionaire companies were taking Jobkeeper monies (lets not forget taxpayers funds), then refusing to pay it back through legal loopholes. Morally corrupt, disgraceful, and you assume they will not reduce salaries when the opportunity arises in a merger or takeover. Good luck. Have a question, think something underhanded going on, or just want to chat, give me a call.

dismissal-to-reduce-wages-made-redundant
Avoid becoming a victim, give us a call, explore your rights

Constructive Dismissal (constructive dismissal)

You can lodge an unfair dismissal claim if your salary or salary package has been significantly reduced. The key word is significant, there is no hard and fast rule what this means. It depends on the individual circumstances. Get advice before you resign. There is a strict 21 days to lodge an unfair dismissal claim. My view too many employees resign without first researching the employment market to see what the prospects and salaries are. They are just totally disgruntled and quit. Slow it down, think it through.

Times are changing as the pandemic continues

We are noticing an increase in calls and emails regarding sexual harassment. Its like a implied culture, of the manager, supervisor , positions of influence of “you look after me, I’ll look after you”. In other words I will not reduce your salary, hours, move you to a lower paid job in a restructure, but I want something in return. Quidproquo the Americans call it. If your subject to this type of behaviour you can do something about it. There is the new stop orders for sexual harassment at the FWC, we can take your claim. Or your concerns to a Equal Opportunity Commission or tribunal and get rightful compensation give us a call immediately.

We are leading workplace advisors, any concerns, issues, just want to talk about your redundancy or situation, give us a call. Its certainly tough times out there, and knowing your rights is so much more important. “every kick has to be a winner” as they say. We can represent you in any workplace matter. All Fairwork Australia, Fair work Commission matters. Including unfair dismissals, redundancy, general protections claims, probation, serious misconduct, constructive dismissal.

Articles similar to replaced by a cheaper worker

An article that may interest you, dignity in the workplace click here

Unfair dismissal is it worth it, click here

Forced resignation, click here

Negotiating, hard bargaining, click here

Free Call 1800 333 666

AWDR is a web site we own, its has 150 pages of good stuff relating to the workplace.

sexualharassmentaustralia.com.au is a site we own, we have been representing people in these types of claims since 2004

Redundancy Laws What Do They Mean?

redundancy-laws-what-do-they-mean?
Getting advice for a dismissal. The employee was dismissed by the employer calling it a redundancy. Is it genuine? What can i do about it? Read on

Redundancy Laws What Do They Mean?

Fair Work Act 2009 s.389. States An unfair dismissal application cannot be made if the dismissal was a case of genuine redundancy. Redundancy Laws What Do They Mean? Australian Redundancy Laws, what does that mean to employees out there facing the loss of their job, there are two types of redundancy, genuine and non genuine.

A genuine redundancy is when:

1) Changes in the operations of the employees place of work can result in the employer no longer needing an employees job role to be carrying out.

2) All consultation obligations imposed by an applicable modern award or enterprise agreement has been complied with by the employer.

What is not a case of genuine redundancy?

  1. Your job is still there
  2. They did not consult with you in a meaningful way

and

A dismissal is NOT a case of genuine redundancy if it would have been reasonable in all of the circumstances to redeploy the person within:

the employer’s enterprise, or

the enterprise of an associated entity of the employer.

IF the employer has not complied with the “three arms” to S389. Then it is not a genuine redundancy and a unfair dismissals or general protections application can be lodged, be aware of the very strict 21 days from your termination to do so.

made-redundant-feels-the-dismissal-is-not-fair
Just been told he has been made redundant, feels the dismissal is not fair. Has has done nothing wrong.

What is a genuine consultation?

Consultations must be genuine and not perfunctory. They should be conducted in a meaningful and engaged manner before any irreversible decisions to terminate roles.. The purpose of a consultation is to make change where is necessary, but to do that in a humane way which also takes into account and derives benefit from an exchange between worker and manager.

Redundancy consultations can be valuable in enabling points of view to be put forward which can be met by modifications of a scheme and sometimes even by its withdrawal. Consultations are a valuable right for employees. Employers should begin the consultations at the earliest suitable stage of any proposed changes to the workplace where redundancies are a consideration.

Gary Pinchen’s thoughts on Australian Redundancy Laws

A redundancy can be a bad redundancy, but still be a genuine redundancy, Employers make the wrong employees redundant all the time. What they cannot do is target you because you have complained about something, been on Workcover, you are pregnant or replace you with a lower paid worker. Renaming the position and employing someone else in that position is not a genuine redundancy. These are just some of the reasons that I have seen. No job is guaranteed for life. Situations can occur such as recession or closure of product lines that can make positions genuinely redundant.

It’s what you know. (check on-line to see if your position or similar position is advertised). Why are you targeted? With the current recession, it can be sometimes referred to as pay back, perceived troublesome Employees have to go, older, injured, ill, ones insisting on being paid properly.

Why if you’re a good loyal, productive employee would they really get rid of you. It’s all about the motive, as to why would an Employer go to the time and cost to get you out of their business. Give us at A Whole New Approach P/L a call to work through your situation.

Its-not-fair-to-be-treated-like-this-should-not-be-dismissed
Being made redundant is never easy, you losing your job through no fault of your own.

Be aware genuine redundancy tax benefits (many aren’t)

A genuine redundancy payment is a payment made to you as an employee, if your job is abolished and you no longer have a job. This means your employer has made a decision that your job no longer exists, and your employment is to be terminated.

Your genuine redundancy payment is:

  • tax-free up to a limit based on your years of service
  • concessionally taxed as an employment termination payment (ETP) above your tax-free limit
  • taxed at your usual marginal tax rate for any amount above certain caps.

The tax-free amount is not part of the employee’s ETP. Your employer will report any lump sum amounts on your income statement or PAYG payment summary – individual non-business.

Any amount over the tax-free limit is part of the employee’s ETP.

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Working/Working-as-an-employee/Leaving-your-job/Redundancy-payments/
threatened-with-redundancy
Threatened with dismissal. Told her position is no longer there. Told she has to relocate to a new role on a lower salary. Is this a genuine redundancy? This scenario is quite common. Get advice for your options.

Consultation, what’s it really mean?

Consultation is more than the Employer telling you they are making you redundant. They have had a look around and there is nothing else for you. Consultation has to be legitimate. It has to be in advance of the potential redundancy. It allows for your input, and the Employer has to consider your input, before the decision is made.

Maybe you will take a lower position, maybe you have experience, skills or qualification’s the Employer is unaware of, it’s your absolute right to have those discussions in advance of the potential redundancy.

Redeployed, if its larger company clearly there may be options, the Employer may still be employing casuals, contractors, staff still in their probation period, why weren’t you offered these positions, you may have been prepared to travel, reskill with little effort, that’s why consultation is important.

Some Employers indicate now that we are making you redundant, can you resign, under no circumstances do you resign, get advice first. Redundancy entitlements can be allot of money, explore your options. This commentary is short and meant to start the process of you deciding is there anything you can do about your redundancy situation. Ring us anytime,

“Knowledge is power, without it we become ignorant towards the truth.”
― Hopal Green

Useful Resources:

Fair Work, sexualharassmentaustralia.com.au, AWDR (150 pages of informative reading)

Fair Work Commission

An article on redundancies and the future, click here

getting-paid-redundancy
Getting redundancy pay, the employer will not explain, why I’m the only one. Everything was fine until I complained about a co workers bullying me. Now I’m dismissed. The employee can lodge a general protections claim in the excising of a workplace right,

Redundancy Laws What Do They Mean?”,

I hope this article has been informative for you. If you are facing your own redundancy dilemma? or facing an unfair dismissal?. Or a dismissal that appears face of it appears fair. However you have a feeling its dodgy, give us a call. we are here to help, advice is free, honest, and to the point, 30 years experience and counting. We are passionate about what we do. AWNA are here for you, have been sacked, we have been uncertain about what the future holds, we understand you. Anything to do with termination of employment, we are the go to guys. All Fair work matters, workers rights, casual employment concerns. probation issues, abandonment of employment.

Free Call 1800 333 666

Articles similar to Redundancy laws what do they mean?

Redundancy, is there justice at the FWC, click here

Redundancy, no consultation, click here

Redundancy: Billions 4 Companies Obligations, click here

How much is my claim worth?, click here

Redundancy during the Pandemic. What are my rights?

Redundancy-during-the-Coronavirus Pandemic-What-are-my-rights?

Redundancy during the Pandemic is still occurring.

Redundancy during the Coronavirus Pandemic. What are my rights? We have found an increase in concerns about current workplace situations and have assisted many employees looking for advice.

Typically in the following areas:

If you are still employed and your enquiry is to do with wages, rates or money owing the simple and most effective option for you is to call the Federal Workplace Ombudsman’s office on 131394.

Employees scramble as they try to figure out what to do about the uncertain times that lie ahead due to the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. Employers begin to become vague and hard to reach as they put plans in action to lay off thousands of workers whereby employees and their families get first wind of this in the media. Redundancy seems inevitable but does not mean you should walk away empty handed.

At A Whole New approach P/L we know every law and can ensure every stone goes unturned to get you the compensation you deserve making these difficult times easier for you and your family. The Coronavirus pandemic brings with it rules, regulations and loopholes that govern as to how employers operate and issue redundancy to employees who wait in anticipation.

Concerned that you may be dismissed?

If you feel you are about to unfairly dismissed or made redundant from your company you can call us here at Unfair Dismissals Australia and remain anonymous to get advice and an idea on your options going forward? Often employees are not aware of their rights or even that unlawful termination claims exist. It is well worth your time calling 1800 333 666 to find out how we can help you going forward.

Employee Stand downs Information

The option for employers to stand down employees due to the coronavirus crisis is very fact dependent and an employer should exercise the option cautiously. The employer must be able to demonstrate that:

  • There is a stoppage of work.
  • The employees to be stood down cannot be usefully employed. (This is not limited to the typical work the employee performs).
  • The reason for the stoppage must also be one that the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible for.

Redundancy during the Coronavirus Pandemic and Australian workplace laws

Last updated 26 March 2020 | Published 4 February 2020

When considering our guidance, we encourage employees and employers to work together to find the most beneficial and workable solutions that suit their individual workplaces and staff. We are all facing difficult and unprecedented circumstances. It’s in everyone’s interests to try to reach productive and cooperative solutions. Employers and employees can explore options that suit their individual needs. Including taking different forms of leave (paid and unpaid), working from home, or taking extra precautions in the workplace.

Recent updates – 26 March 2020

Updated:When can employees be stood down without pay?

On 24 March 2020 the Fair Work Commission made a determination to vary the Hospitality Award. The new Schedule L applies from 24 March to 30 June 2020. The changes improve award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus for classifications and duties, hours of work for full-time and part-time employees and annual leave. Find out more: Hospitality Award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus.

What if an employee cannot attend work because their child’s school or childcare centre has closed due to coronavirus?

Can an employer change an employee’s regular roster or hours of work?

Government information about coronavirus

Recent updates – 24 March 2020

Updated:

Enforceable government directions

We’ll continue to update the information on our website as the situation develops and as needed. The information provided is current as at the time of the last update. It is not legal advice but represents the views of the Fair Work Ombudsman based on the best available information. We encourage you to regularly check this page for more information.

On this page we provide links to important Government information about coronavirus.

We also answer frequently asked questions about workplace obligations and entitlements if you’re affected by the outbreak of coronavirus. (also known as COVID-19).

Australian Government information about coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please visit:

  • Australian Government Department of Health  – for the latest information on the virus. Including requirements and conditions for isolation and quarantine periods and when testing should be sought
  • Services Australia – for information and services to help you if you’re affected by coronavirus, including Centrelink payments and support
  • Australian Government Treasury  department – for information on the Federal Government’s economic response to coronavirus. Including information on support for individuals, businesses and the economy.
  • Australia.gov.au   – for the latest coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia
  • Business.gov.au  – for information about financial assistance, eligibility and timing for new government support for Australian businesses.

Health and safety in the workplace

Enforceable government directions

“Where an Australian state Government or officer makes an order that is enforceable under the law (an enforceable government direction) and which prevents an employee from working, an employer is not required to pay the employee (unless the employee uses paid leave entitlements).” – Fairwork Australia

This could occur, where a work site or workplace has been closed down either temporarily or indefinitely. This does include the isolation measures which have been enforced to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spread.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is continually changing as we gather new information and adjust according to the statistics and victims of the virus. Due to these reasons state governments will continually be changing rules over the upcoming months.

“In line with recent government announcements, some enforceable government directions have already been, or will soon be, issued with respect to restaurants, gyms, pubs, clubs and other services deemed non-essential.” – Fairwork.gov An example of this are Victorian and New South Wales governments closing work to reduce social gatherings in the space of 12pm to 12am.

As a result of the new rules being issued, many affected businesses will likely have the right to stand down employees, if they cannot usefully be employed. See When can employees be stood down without pay?

Redundancy-during-the-Coronavirus Pandemic.-What-are-my-right's?-redundancy-protest
Redundancy protest

Workplace obligations and entitlements

We encourage all Australian employees and employers to work together to find solutions appropriate to the circumstances of the current working laws. This may include taking different forms of leave, working from home, or taking extra precautions in the workplace.

If you have an urgent enquiry about your workplace obligations or entitlements or feel you have been unfairly dismissed, please contact us on 1800 333 666

When can employees be stood down without pay?

Employers and employees are encouraged to work together to find appropriate solutions that suit the needs of individual workplaces and staff. Employees who are stood down without pay remain employed for the period of the stand down.

Under the Fair Work Act, an employee can only be stood down without pay if they cannot be usefully employed because of a stoppage of work for any cause for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible.

Whether the option of standing down employees is available in circumstances relating to coronavirus is very fact dependent and an employer should exercise the option cautiously. The employer must be able to demonstrate that:

  • there is a stoppage of work
  • the employees to be stood down cannot be usefully employed (which is not limited to the work an employee usually performs)
  • the cause of the stoppage must also be one that the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible for.

If an employer unlawfully stands down employees without pay, the employees will likely be able to recover unpaid wages.

Employers cannot generally stand down employees simply because of a deterioration of business conditions or because an employee has coronavirus.

Some examples of when employers may be able to stand down employees include:

  • if there was an enforceable government direction requiring the business to close (which means there is no work at all for the employees to do, even from another location)
  • A large proportion of the workforce was required to self-quarantine with the result that the remaining employees/workforce cannot usefully be employed
  • if there was a stoppage of work due to lack of supply for which the employer could not be held responsible.
made-redundant-help-me
Redundancy through no fault of your own is not fair

Is a contract involved?

Enterprise agreements and employment contracts often contain rules and agreements about when an employer has the option to stand down an employee without pay. Employers should always consider whether their obligations are impacted by any applicable enterprise agreement, award or policies.

If an employee is able to read their contract which does not contain any policies regarding stand downs it is under their best interest to contact an expert on 1800 333 666 to learn more about your options. If the employee does have rules written within their agreement regarding no pay during a stand down it does not hurt to contact Unfair Dismissals Australia to get clarification if one is unsure where they stand.

Please note, employers may not be required to pay employees for the period of a stand down but may still choose to pay their employees. Employees still acquire leave as normal for the duration of the stand down.

Hospitality Award

“On 24 March 2020 the Fair Work Commission made a determination to vary the Hospitality Award. The new Schedule L applies from 24 March to 30 June 2020. The changes improve award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus for classifications and duties, hours of work for full-time and part-time employees and annual leave. Find out more: Hospitality Award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus.” – Fairwork.gov

Redundancy during the Pandemic. What are my rights?

We are A Whole New Approach P/l, we are not lawyers, but experts on redundancies, and how employers go about making you redundant to avoid making payments or fair processes. give us a call, its free 1800 333 666, know your rights, get prompt, confidential advice today. We are here to help you, we are leaders in workplace commentary, publishers of a large volume of material relating to employees rights, and todays work places in Australia.

  • Australian Government Department of Health  – Find the latest information on the coronavirus, including requirements and conditions for isolation.
  • Services Australia – Find work and employment information and services to help you if you’re affected by coronavirus.
  • Australian Government Treasury  department – Find information on the Federal Government’s economic response to coronavirus.
  • Australia.gov.au   – All the coronavirus news, updates and advice from government of Australia.
  • Business.gov.au  – Information regarding financial assistance and eligibility and all the Australian Government support for Australian businesses.

Redundancy: Company obligations, click here

Updates corona virus advice for employees, click here

    australian unfair dismissals
    Get in Touch





      Unfair Dismissals Australia is an industry leader. We strictly represent employees regarding issues to do with fair work. We are available 7 days a week.