Introduction of changes with significant effect

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The information on this page applies only to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system. The state system covers businesses which operate as sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trust arrangements as well as any incorporated associations or not for profit bodies that are not trading or financial corporations. The Guide to who is in the WA State System has more detail.

This information does not apply to any business which operates as a Pty Ltd business and is a trading or financial corporation nor to any incorporated association or not for profit body that is a trading or financial corporation. These businesses and organisations are in the national fair work system and should visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for information on employment laws.

Where an employer decides to introduce changes that are likely to have significant effects on employees, the employer must notify them in writing and consult with them about the decision. If an employee nominates a union to represent them, that union must also be notified and consulted.

Changes with significant effects include:

  • termination of employment
  • major changes in the composition, operation or size of the employer’s workforce
  • major changes in the skills required by the workforce
  • the elimination or reduction of a job opportunity, a promotion opportunity or job tenure
  • changes in hours of work (significant increases or decreases)
  • the need for employees to retrain
  • transfer of employees to other work or locations
  • restructuring of jobs.

Consultation should commence as soon as practicable after the decision has been made, and needs to include:

  • the nature of the changes proposed
  • the expected effects of the changes on employees (including, for example, the number and categories of employees likely to be dismissed, and when the employer intends to carry out the dismissals)
  • the ways to avoid or minimise the effects of the changes (e.g. by finding alternate employment)
  • any other matters likely to affect employees.

The employer is not required when providing information to disclose information that may seriously harm the employer's business.

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