Redundancy Now and The Future
Redundancy, Now and The Future, is very relevant as we head into 2024. 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 are still be going up), the previous difficulty of proving whether a genuine redundancy has occurred or not, has become infinitely harder to establish. In replacing employees with lower paid ones employers have got alot clever than previously in honing their skills as to how to do this.
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.
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.
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.
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 2023
- Under employment was 6.6%
- Unemployment was 563,300 persons
- Youth unemployment 9.3%
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. 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 and restructure
Many companies are currently restructuring. In fact the two terms are used on a interchanging basis. However just becasue there is a restructure does not automatically mean that you should lose your job. That is why the consulative process is so important. The issue for alot of the phone calls we receive is that the employer uses the so called restructure to sack employees it perceives as trouble makers, complainers etc. It is hard to tell the difference, the Fair work Commission is not going to send out a highly paid judge (Deputy President or Commissioner) to figure out how the company should run itsself. So it is not that hard to convince the FWC as to their side of the story. And your just sitting there saying this is not right.
What you need to do is keep good notes as to what it is really all about. Your complaints, illness, injury, wanting to go off on maternity leave, 3 months for your knee reconstruction and now all of a sudden there is no work for you. This is the arguments you have to run. If you just say its not right, there is plenty of work, its a nonsense they can do without me, you will lose the argument. You must have a reason or theory as to why the employer wants you out. Most employers will not terminate a good employee for no reason.
Conclusion to 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
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