NSW Employer Hiring a New Position - Demotion and Unfair Dismissal?

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17 September 2015
I am a manager in my current company reporting directly to the CEO. One day the CEO calls me into the boardroom (no notice given) and wants to have a chat about my role and how he wants to expand it. He started off by listing my duties and said I am doing three peoples jobs and now wants to hire another manager who will take part of my work from me and a director who will have myself and the new hire reporting to them. So in effect he put an extra layer between myself and him.

The job for the new director was advertised more than 24 hours before he actually took me into the boardroom. Four days after the meeting, he emails all managers in the company advising them of the new positions and that I will remain in my current role. The job posting came out and the skills and qualifications needed are exactly what I possess.

It has made me very embarrassed to be in the office, and I constantly have staff telling me he did the wrong thing and asking if I am ok. I just feel like quitting because I can't take it anymore.

My questions are:
1. Can he decide to divvy up my job, and advertise a new position that I now have to report to before speaking to me about it under Employment Law?
2. Salary has not come up, i.e. he has not stated that I will lose any part of my salary, but I feel like I have been demoted. Is there any precedent I can use here? I called up Fair Work Australia who said this could be classed as unfair dismissal, but how could that be if I am still working for him?
3. The meeting with him was not a formal. It was basically over a coffee. Nothing was documented or provided to me in writing pre or post the meeting. Should I be calling a meeting with him and HR raising my concerns with the way I have been treated, and ask for it to be documented?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Well-Known Member
11 October 2015
Hi Joey,

It doesn't sound like he followed any procedures. Essentially he has restructured the company, and even if he has not changed your roles, your hierarchy level has changed. Maybe this is why Fair Work Australia were suggesting it could be an unfair dismissal.

My suggestion would be to get HR involved and ask your CEO what happens to your contract of employment? I would think detailed accounts of what happens may come in useful. Definitely clarify what will happen to your salary and your employment contract as you have less roles which, in my opinion essentially changes your employment.

Seeking legal advice and even contacting Fair Work Australia again when new information comes to light could definitely improve your chance of making a claim.