Redundancy is a word that is thrown around and you have probably heard used regularly throughout your life. Recently, this has been particularly amplified as a result of the effects caused by, and following from, the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the nation. But what exactly is redundancy, and what relevance does it have to you?

What is called a “genuine redundancy” occurs when your employment ends because of the fact that your employer’s operation or business changes, and because of that your job is no longer required or can no longer be performed, where it would not be reasonable for your employer to employ you in another position within the business.

If you have your employment terminated by reason of a genuine redundancy, and you have worked for your employer for more than a year, you should receive entitlements in addition to the standard notice and leave entitlements. These additional entitlements start at a payment equivalent to 4 weeks of your ordinary pay, and increase for every year of service with your employer, up to a maximum of 16 weeks. The exact entitlements can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

If you have been made redundant, or believe your termination was a redundancy, and you have not been paid your redundancy entitlements. There are a number of steps you can take. Firstly, you can try to resolve the issue directly with your employer. If this is unsuccessful, you should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman’s office to see if they can assist. If the issue remains unresolved, you may need to seek legal advice around your options for recovering your unpaid entitlements. In addition, there are penalties, which can be hefty, if an employer does not pay your entitlements as required by law.

If your employment is terminated and the reason given is that it is a redundancy, but you do not believe it genuinely is, you may be able to commence proceedings in the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal. You can do this unrepresented, however it is recommended that you seek legal advice beforehand to understand your rights, entitlements and legal standing.

 If you have any enquiries about an employment issue, please contact our office on 02 4350 3333 or email and our staff can assist.


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