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NSW Employment Law - What to Do About My Full-time Position and Restructuring?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by swarmski, 9 December 2015.

  1. swarmski

    swarmski Member

    9 December 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi there,

    We are going through a restructure currently and a situation has arisen that affects me. I will outline my background

    • I am full time employed in another section
    • For 5 years, I have been acting on Higher Duties in another position. This position is a yearly renewable contract
    • Should the Higher Duties contract end, I will return to my Full-time position

    The work I do will always be there. The restructure has failed to identify the need of a full-time position for this role. I have been acting in the role for 5 years and was acting on good faith and reassurances that my role would be converted to full-time when the restructure came. My role doesn't disappear, it just remains on a contracted basis.

    The restructure has come and my situation isn't sorted. Since being employed in this Higher Duties Position, I have had 2 kids and have just started building a house. Now my employer has told me that if I am to continue working in the Higher Duties (yearly contract extensions), I must give up my full-time role and remain on a contract.

    So I am left with a choice of returning to my Full-time Position ($17000 a year pay drop), or give up the security of a full-time job and rely on yearly contract extensions.

    My contract position has been approved for the next 3 years, but funding is based on yearly models so I cannot get more than 1-year extensions

    My HR department and my CIO do not seem to communicate very well with me during this restructure and seem to be ignoring my emails.

    I have been represented by my Union who thinks I am being treated poorly based on our enterprise agreement, however, they are at a stalemate with the HR Department and their own interpretations of the agreement.

    What should I do under Employment Law? Surely there must be some allegiance and responsibility to people who have been acting in a position for 5 years? I have had to make financial decisions based on the length of time employed on Higher Duties.
  2. Therese

    Therese Well-Known Member

    11 October 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi Swarmski,

    It sounds like you may have a case against your employer.

    Although it sounds like the company is doing something a little bit sneaky by giving you the choice of either position - shouldn't your full-time role have been made redundant when you were working in the contracted position?

    If you were under the impression your contracted role would become full-time position at the time of the restructure - then you were misled.

    A case may arise if your employer is breaching terms of the enterprise agreement or there may even be an argument for unfair dismissal.

    I would suggest getting in contact with an employment lawyer or even the fair work ombudsman. See Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You.
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