The fourth in our series of articles on employment issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, this article looks at employer requirements when looking at redundancies.

To the extent that a stand down the JobKeeper Scheme or JobKeeper Provisions do not apply, but changes are still necessary to work hours or remuneration for permanent employees because of a slowdown in the business resulting from COVID-19, then redundancy may be your only option. It is important that any redundancy be genuine.

To find out more about stand downs, the JobKeeper Scheme or JobKeeper Provisions as a result of COVID-19, read our articles here:

Standing Down Employees under the Fair Work Act

The JobKeeper Scheme

JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act

In order for a redundancy to be genuine:

  1. There must no longer be a need for the person’s job to be performed by anyone because of changes in operational requirements of the business;
  2. The employer must consult with any employees who are covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement; and
  3. The employer must consider opportunities for the person to be redeployed, and it must not have been reasonable in all the circumstances for the person to be redeployed within the business or an associated entity.

If you or your company implement redundancies, you will need to consider your obligations to:

  1. Consult with those employees in accordance with any relevant modern award;
  2. Pay redundancy, including consideration of redundancy pay under both the Fair Work Act and the Award;
  3. Provide notice of termination (or payment in lieu); and
  4. Pay any other contractual or statutory requirements under any relevant award.

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