Redundancy occurs when an employer decides they no longer need an employee’s job to be done by anyone and terminates their employment. The job itself, not the employee, becomes redundant.
Redundancy can happen when the business:

  • introduces new technology
  • slows down due to lower sales or production
  • closes down
  • relocates
  • restructures
  • An employee who has at least one year of continuous service and works for an employer that employs 15 or more employees will usually be entitled to redundancy or severance payments (to a maximum of 16 weeks’ pay) under the National Employment Standards (NES).

    The following employees don’t get redundancy pay:

    • employees whose period of continuous service with the employer is less than 12 months
    • an employee employed for:
      • a stated period
      • an identified task or project
      • a particular season.
    • employees terminated because of serious misconduct
    • most casual employees
    • trainees engaged only for the length of the training agreement

    There are special arrangements for employees whose employment transfers when the business they work for is sold.

    A small business employs fewer than 15 employees. Some small businesses don’t have to pay redundancy pay when making an employee redundant.

    To work out if the business is a small business, count:

    • all permanent employees employed at the time of the redundancy
    • the employee and any other employees being terminated at that time
    • only regular and systematic casual employees employed by the business at the time of the redundancy are counted
    • employees of associated entities.

    The size of the business is counted as the earliest of:

    • when the employee is told their employment will be terminated, or
    • when the employee is given their notice of termination.

    Awards can specify other situations in which redundancy pay does not apply to the termination of an employee’s employment.

    A genuine redundancy is not considered unfair dismissal. A genuine redundancy is when:

    • the person’s job doesn’t need to be done by anyone
    • the employer followed any consultation requirements in the award or registered agreement
    • there was no reasonable opportunity for the person to be redeployed within the employer’s business or an associated business.

    When an employee’s dismissal is a genuine redundancy, the employee cannot make an unfair dismissal claim.

    A dismissal is not a genuine redundancy if the employer:

    • still needs the employee’s job to be done by someone (e.g. hires someone else to do the job)
    • has not followed relevant requirements to consult with the employees about the redundancy, or
    • could have reasonably, in the circumstances, given the employee another job within the employer’s business or an associated entity.

    Discover the best practice when hiring and firing with Richard Thompson from Archer Thompson Lawyers.

    Presenter: Richard Thompson, Principal at Archer Thompson Lawyers

    Date: 16 June 2022 12pm-1pm

    Hiring & Firing

    • Best practice when hiring and firing.
    • How to avoid unfair dismissal and unlawful termination.
    • What to do when faced with an unfair dismissal or unlawful termination claim.

    Key themes

    • Essential terms in an employment contract to prevent a claim of unfair dismissal.
    • What to do before termination.
    • What is an unfair dismissal and unlawful termination?
    • The legal process when faced with an unfair or unlawful dismissal.

    Top Tips

    • Key criteria to follow when hiring and firing.
    • How to prevent mistakes when hiring and firing.
    • How to achieve the best outcome and tips to avoid issues in the first place.

    About The Presenter

    Richard has over 30 years’ experience in employment law and commercial dispute resolution.

    Richard has worked as an industrial relations advisor, barrister, law firm partner and head of employment and commercial law.

    Richard has been engaged in all aspects of employment law for both employer and employees and specialises in dismissals, wages claims, and workplace disputes. He regularly appears at the Fair Work Commission, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Tribunals, VCAT, Magistrates Court, Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court.

    Contact Richard Thompson HERE


    Or follow this link Hiring & Firing

    For advice or assistance with any employment issues, AFA members can contact Richard Thompson, employment law specialist at Archer Thompson Lawyers, HERE