Against a shaky economic backdrop, redundancies are never too far from HR’s agenda. But when faced with the need to dissolve a role, HR must ensure the focus is on redeployment and retention wherever possible, to avoid both the expense of replacing them and a potential legal minefield if the redundancy becomes a dispute.
Before giving any employee the redundancy boot, HR must carefully consider and offer redeployment options, even if it is to a lower position than the employee previously held. A recent Fair Work Australia (FWA) decision paved new territory in the understanding of a ‘genuine redundancy’, as it was found that one employer in question failed to offer the chance of redeployment, albeit to a lower position, within the organisation. Related story: Redundancies: FWA decision creates even more risk
Consider the following takeaways before you make your next redundancy:
Identify all lower-paying and/or diminished-responsibility positions that the employee has the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to perform
Ask the employee whether he/she would be willing to perform any of the lower-paying and/or diminished-reasonability positions identified
If the employee is willing, offer such positions to the employee concerned as an alternative to making that employee’s position redundant and reflect such changes in a new ‘variation to employment’ employment contract (if relevant)
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