Redundancy is defined as being no longer needed or useful. When your role is made redundant in the workplace, it means that your position is no longer needed or useful to the needs of the business.
Redundancy can occur because your employer decides that your role is no longer needed, or if the business becomes bankrupt or insolvent.
Why would my role made redundant?
There may be a number of reasons why the employer no longer needs a particular employee’s role, such as:
- The introduction of new technologies.
- The business has slowed down due to low sales.
- The business has reorganised or restructured.
How do I know if it is a genuine redundancy?
A redundancy is only genuine if your employer doesn’t need your job to be done anymore and they have followed the required consultation process in your award, enterprise agreement or employment contract.
If you have been made redundant, then your employer should not recruit for your old role. This includes advertising for:
- Your old position title, or
- A new position title with your same work scope.
You may also be offered a new position in the restructure (if the business is not insolvent or bankrupt) rather than a sum of money.
If the redundancy is genuine, you will not be able to make an unfair dismissal claim.
At times, businesses use the redundancy system to terminate employees. They may wrongly assume that they do not need to follow a dismissal process. Redundancy however, is usually a more favourable outcome for the employee than being dismissed. This is because employees who are made redundant usually receive a sum of money depending on how long you have worked there without the stigma of being dismissed.
What to do if you’ve been made redundant
If you have been made redundant and you have reason to believe that it is not a genuine redundancy, then you should contact the Fair Work Commission or an employment lawyer. Do this quickly because if its a case of unfair dismissal, you only have 21 days from the date of dismissal to lodge an unfair dismissal application.