BlandsLaw - Blog posts from redundancies
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The redundancy provisions in the Fair Work Act place a positive obligation on employers to fully explore redeployment opportunities within oan employer's wider corporate structure. As lawyer Andrew Bland explains, proactively pursuing and proposing alternate employment opportunities before redundancy or termination will minimise the risk of unfair dismissal claims or adverse action such as litigation being brought by employees. Click here to read the full article

Employers must consider opportunities for redeployment within the company or its associated entities in order for a redundancy to be genuine, according to the Fair Work Act 2009. Typically the courts have applied and interpreted these provisions quite widely; for example consideration of redeployment options should include positions that are more junior or on less pay. But does this include employee redeployment to an overseas operation?

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We regularly provide advice around redundancy and know from practice that it can be an area fraught with pitfalls. To meet the test for genuine redundancy under the Fair Work Act the redundancy process must include the employer exploring, with the employee, any available redeployment options. Related to this concept is that of ‘alternative acceptable employment’ which may affect the redundancy pay.

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The recent Fair Work Commission decision in Mr Georg Thomas v InfoTrak Pty Ltd T/A InfoTrak [2013] FWC 1134 highlights the importance for  employers of considering both the substance and the process surrounding redundancy.

In this case, Mr Thomas, an Operations Manager of an IT company, brought an unfair dismissal case alleging that his redundancy was not ‘genuine’ because his employer had not discussed it with him or considered him for alternative positions.

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With effect from 1 January 2010, the redundancy provisions in the Fair Work Act, 2009 (Cth) came into operation the result of employers and employees in the national workplace system being covered by the National Employment Standards (NES). The new redundancy provisions bestow a positive obligation on employers to fully explore opportunities within an employer’s wider corporate structure to redeploy. For employers, proactively pursuing and proposing alternate employment opportunities before redundancy termination, will minimise the risk of unfair dismissal or adverse action litigation being brought by employees.

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