In the age of COVID-19 and the uncertain times ahead for the Australian economy, we are seeing jobs being made redundant left, right and center. Some are genuine, some may not be. In consideration of the impending recession, 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.
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 reasonable direction.
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.
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 and 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. 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!