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Employment and Migration Blog

Would you be insulted if I offered you a lower paid job?

Posted by Stephen Booth on 7 Oct 2011

Beware the consultation and redeployment issues when making employees redundant. For a redundancy to be outside the unfair dismissal regime, it has to be a "genuine redundancy". Whether a redundancy is genuine depends on whether there is consultation as required by an applicable award, and whether any reasonable options for redeployment are offered to the employee.

A couple of cases have found redundancies not to be genuine when positions of lower status or pay have not been offered to the employee, as you never know when someone might actually want fewer hours or be willing to take the job rather than be out altogether.

In the most recent example, the employer did not offer a job on less pay because of concern the employee would be insulted. FWA held this was "precious" - the offer could easily have been made in a non-insulting way.

Of course, offering redeployment is a problem where an employer uses redundancy as cover for the real reasons for termination, ie where the employer doesn't want the employee to do any job.

All the more reason to get the process right and not need to cast around for alternatives to doing the right thing.

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