Can I Negotiate or Demand Redundancy?

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21 July 2014
Four weeks ago, my employer (of 4 years) declared he was going bankrupt but had managed to merge his client base and staff with another firm. The location is an hour away. As a single mother of 2 small children (1 with special needs) I calculated that the move i.e. to put my children into Before and After school Care or reduce my (part time) hours would result in losing 1/3 of my wage and that I was unable to do this. They suggested I might be available to help with the merger in the meantime and I agreed.

I didn't attempt negotiating with them at the time as it didn't seem an option. Since then, I've been excluded from any input/meetings with the new firm. I suggested that if I reduced my hours (and salary of course) by 5 hours a week my move might be possible. Their reply was that there really wasn't enough work for me but they might talk to me to consider letting me help temporarily during the integration. I expressed my disappointment and suggested that if a position is not available then perhaps we should discuss voluntary redundancy.

I am speaking with the new manager tomorrow. Am I in any position to negotiate or demand redundancy? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The move is only 2 weeks away and I am in limbo. Many thanks.


Hi morethanmoonandstars,

Redundancy occurs when your employer either:
  • doesn't need your job to be done by anyone, or
  • becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
Therefore if you lose your job because the job disappears permanently for the above reasons, according to the law you are considered to be redundant. Before making you redundant, the employer should follow any consultation requirements in your award or agreement. If possible and reasonable your employer should redeploy you to another position with the employer or a related company. If you believe that the redundancy is not genuine, for example if the position still exists, or if you were not redeployed and reasonably could have been, or if the consultation requirements in your award or agreement have not been followed, you may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal.

If you are demoted and the new position involves a significant reduction in either pay or duties, then it may be considered that you have been
dismissed. However, there are situations where a demotion may not be classified as a dismissal, in which case you should seek legal advice.
If a demotion involves a significant reduction in duties or remuneration, it may constitute a ‘dismissal’, even if the person demoted remains employed by the employer.

Also you could contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information on your particular employment agreement at
21 July 2014
Thanks for your reply Sophea,

I have just had a discussion with my manager who agreed that my position is redundant. He also suggested that I had no entitlements as the practice was under 20 employees. I have been at the firm for 3 1/2 years in a part time capacity. Is this correct? If not, can you direct me to any legal document I could forward to him? Many thanks,


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
Ring the Fair Work Ombudsman, they are helpful over the phone as long as the situation is not too complex.