This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations. Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.
If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
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. It also not a redundancy if there has been a transmission of business from one employer to another and an employee continues to be employed in the same job with the new employer.
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.
Paid leave for job interviews
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 one day off work during each week of the notice period for the purpose of seeking other employment.
After one full day off work with pay, the employer may require the employee to produce proof of attendance at an interview in order to access further paid leave to search for other employment. The employee may provide a statutory declaration for this purpose.
Providing information and holding discussions to employees
Where an employer has decided to make an employee redundant, the employer must notify the employee 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 effects 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 also need to be informed of:
- any major changes in the composition, operation or size of the employer’s workforce, or in the skills required
- any changes which are likely to result in reduced job and promotion opportunities or job tenure
- the alteration of hours of work
- the need for retraining or transfer of employees to other work or locations and the restructuring of jobs.
When providing information the employer is not required 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 employees on the grounds of redundancy. This should be done as soon as possible, and the employer will need to provide all relevant information about the proposed terminations, including a written statement of the reasons for the terminations, the number and categories of the employees likely to be affected, the number of employees normally employed and the period over which the terminations are intended to be carried out.
Go to the Centrelink website www.humanservices.gov.au/centrelink
Contact Wageline if you need further information about redundancy.