Redundancy Selection Bias in Australian Public Service - My Rights?

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1 June 2014
I work in an Australian Federal Government Department. Recently we have been told that there will be redundancies for our area. 1 in 3 must go. However, the process of redundancy selection does not seem to be open and transparent. There has been no open discussion of the means of selection and no minutes are being kept of the meetings being held.

If I'm the 1 of the 3 who has to go, what questions should I be asking my employer to ensure that the selection was not a biased process? If bias can be found in the process, what are my rights under employment law?

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
  1. Have a talk to your union.

  2. Is VR or similar is on the table?
    Is it (financially) an option for you personally?

  3. Have a read of this.

  4. As a general rule, the "candidate selection" decision of an APS redudancy is not reviewable or appellable.
    That said, the decision must still be made according to the principles of administrative law.
    Have a read of this -

  5. It is exceedingly difficult to prove bias, even to the civil standard of the balance of probabilities.
    This is mostly because of a lack of evidence (note that opinions, feelings, anger and resentment
    are not evidence). You may have better prospects of having the decision reviewed according to the principles of administrative law.

  6. There is probably no conspiracy against you personally. At times like these, people are too concerned with saving their own skin (ie job) to be conspiring to ensure the demise of others.

Paul Cott

Well-Known Member
LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
26 May 2014
Ballarat, Victoria

I agree with Tim.

Also, generally the actual selection of who is to be made redundant out if a number of employees in redundancy cases (and the process of selection) is not relevant to whether it is a genuine redundancy, and so not an unfair dismissal. That us unless the selection is based on discrimination, such as age, sex, marital if relationship status etc.

There is though generally a requirement of consultation and discussion that has to occur, more generally as to the redundancy itself, though and not necessarily as to the selection process and who is chosen to go.

Do speak to your union if you are in one, they should be able to assist you further with this issue.

Redeployment as a possibility should also have been considered by the employer.

Hope this helps.
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