Redundancy - general information
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.
An employee is redundant when their employer has decided that they no longer wish the job the employee has been doing done by anyone. Transferring an employee to a lower paid job because their current job no longer exists is a redundancy.
It is not a redundancy if the employee is dismissed and replaced with another employee.
Employers should not use the premise of redundancy to dismiss an employee whose work performance or conduct is unsatisfactory as this could result in a successful claim of unfair dismissal.
Employers must provide redundant employees with the correct notice period and may be required to provide a redundancy payment. Employers are also required to provide paid leave for job interviews, and meet requirements on providing information and holding discussions with affected employees.
An employee who has been informed that he or she has been or will be made redundant is entitled to paid leave of up to 8 hours for the purpose of being interviewed for further employment. The 8 hours does not need to be taken consecutively. An employee who is seeking paid leave for job interviews must provide his or her employer with evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person of the entitlement to the leave.
Where an employer has decided to make an employee redundant, the employer must notify them in writing and consult with all employees who may be affected by the decision. If an employee nominates a union to represent them, that union must also be notified and consulted.
As soon as reasonably practicable after a decision has been made, the employer needs to inform and consult with employees and any nominated unions in relation to:
- the number and categories of employees likely to be affected
- the period over which the terminations are likely to be carried out
- the reasons for the proposed terminations
- the likely effects on employees
- measures that may be taken by the employer or the employee to avoid or minimise adverse affects on the employees concerned.
Even if a particular employee is not being made redundant, redundancies elsewhere in the workplace may have a significant effect on them. Employees need to be informed of major changes in the composition, operation or size of the employer’s workforce, and any changes which are likely to result in reduced job and promotion opportunities.
The employer is not required when providing information to disclose information that may seriously harm the employer's business.
Notification of redundancy to Centrelink
Employers are also required to advise Centrelink when an employer decides to terminate 15 or more employees for economic, technological or structural reasons.
Contact Wageline if you need further information about redundancy.
All state system employers are legally required to keep employment records that detail time worked, leave taken and pay received by employees.
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