Navigating Redundancy: An Employer’s Guide

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In the midst of the current challenging times for businesses, the topic of redundancy has emerged as a pressing concern. With organisations facing the need to streamline their operations and reduce costs, the topic of redundancy has become increasingly relevant. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what redundancy entails and explore the key considerations involved in managing this process effectively.

Key elements of redundancy

At its core, redundancy occurs when a role within an organisation is deemed no longer necessary. It’s important to recognise that redundancy is about the role itself, rather than the individual occupying it, and importantly is not related to their performance.  This distinction is crucial when working through a redundancy process. 

When considering redundancy as a form of termination, there are three primary elements that employers must address in order for the redundancy to be considered genuine in accordance with Fair Work:

  1. Consultation with an impacted employee: Open and transparent communication with the employee facing potential redundancy is essential. Giving an employee the opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns can often help to alleviate some of the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the situation.
  2. Explore redeployment opportunities: Before proceeding with termination, employers are required to explore whether there are any alternative roles within the organisation that the affected employee could transition into.
  3. Termination process: The termination process must be handled with care and in compliance with Fair Work requirements. This includes ensuring the that the appropriate entitlements are applied in relation to: notice periods, redundancy pay, and any other entitlements owed or agreed to with the employee.

While the above are the 3 key elements to consider, in practice there are often a raft of other key factors that an organisation may need to address when considering redundancy. The below are just a few key questions that may come up in the process:

  • How will the key tasks or duties of the role be re-assigned?
  • Will the redundancy process involve an organisational restructure?
  • Are there other employees performing the same or similar role? 
  • What other roles could be considered potential re-deployment options?
  • What will the communication strategy be for both impacted and non-impacted team members?
  • Is the business in a position to offer additional support to the impacted employee (monetary or otherwise)?

Navigating the complexities of redundancy can be challenging for employers, particularly if you’re concerned about the negative impact, potential backlash and/or a claim made to Fair Work. 

Happy to chat through any complex or difficult redundancy scenarios that you may be encountering.

Nick Hedges is the founder of Resolve HR, a HR consultancy specialising in providing workplace advice to managers and business owners. He recently published his first book, “Exiting Underperforming Team Members – The Inside Scoop”. It is a practical response to the most pressing HR challenges, which can be found at
Disclaimer: The contents written do not constitute legal advice and does not cater for individual circumstances.   The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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