Redundancy Question

Quick brief for context

  • I'm in the finance industry
  • Been with the company for close to 8yrs
  • Been in the same role for about half of that
  • Two years ago company was acquired by a bigger one but both teams were kept separate
  • In April this yr, plans were announced to fully integrate both companies which means restructure from top to bottom
  • Finally had my consultation regarding my team and my role
  • Was told my role is now redundant and mentioned a role they think I would be fit for
  • The new role looks a little more silo'ed (dealing with mostly one part of the business only) although the title is a bit of a promotion
  • They told me if I wanted the role, I'll have to apply for it (so not exactly applying for my own role, which no longer exist in the new structure)

Question: If my role has been made redundant and I don't have interest in the new role, will I be offered a redundancy if I choose not to apply or would I still have to "play the game" and go through the application process in order to be offered VR?

Thank you !

EDIT
So I think I've gotten some more clarity on my situation. I emailed HR and essentially was told that there was that role they think I should apply for and there are others across the business that I could apply for during the redeployment period which ends in mid-Sept. If I choose not to purse other internal opportunities then my employment will end in redundancy (yay!)

So I guess the next question is what I should be looking out for during the redeployment period so I'm not getting short-changed or they don't back out on any agreements etc? I have yet to receive payout estimates which I've been told is being calculated as I requested.

Comments

  • +3 votes

    pretty sure they have to place you in another equivelent or better position, or else pay you a redunancy.

    not sure what would happen if you apply for a new role

    •  

      That's the thing, I don't automatically get put into this role. I still have to apply for it.

      It was put to me like this is a role we think is right/equivalent to my level of experience/expertise and previous role and if I'm interested, I should apply for it.

      It wasn't; this is the role and you have to apply for it or this is the role and you've got it.

      • +4 votes

        I mean, if you don't apply then what? They make you redundant? So seems like your choice? It won't be a voluntary redundancy if they haven't offered you that. It sounds like it's apply for this or mandatory redundancy.

      •  

        You are in the redeployment pool during your notice period I assume so up to you to apply for other roles, otherwise take the redundancy at the end

        • +1 vote

          I'm over the company and just want to move on. I feel like I have grounds to warrant a redundancy package since my role no longer exists and I haven't been given a similar role either.

          • +1 vote

            @phxsun: Don’t forget to include pro rata long service leave in your payout.

            •  

              @Hector: In QLD or NSW you're not eligible for pro-rata LSL if you quit or are made redundant before having worked 10 years (plus any non paid leave periods). Your redundancy payment actually decreases at year 10 to acknowledge that you have become eligible / may have taken it. (16 weeks redundancy pay after 9 years, but 12 weeks pay after 10 years).

              I know in VIC/SA you're eligible from 7 years / 1 year. Not sure about other states.

  •  

    If your new salary (excluding any overtime / allowances) is $1 less they will have to pay you a redundancy. If the position is a suitable one that pays the same/more they do not.

    You need a decent reason why the new role is not suitable, it has to be pretty different or a long way away.

    • +2 votes

      If he gets the new role. He has to apply. What if he does and they give it to someone else? Does that get OP redundancy payout?

      •  

        Well, yes, if the current role is redundant and you don't get the new one, that's the only logical conclusion. Unless they find another equivalent role or decide the current role isn't redundant…..

    •  

      So I don't quite understand why I need to "compete" for a similar role (ie apply for a new role) which I had in order to "successfully" be offered a redundancy package.

      You (the company) got rid of my role and I haven't been offered a similar one. If they offered a similar role and it's up to me to accept, then that's a different case right?

      •  

        It's a different role (as similar as it might be) so you need to apply for it.

        If you are successful, you may still choose to turn it down and take the redundancy instead. If you're not, then they should give you the redundancy. (if it is a brand new role, it could potentially mean different pay which u need to consider)

        You should certainly speak to HR to clarify these things, but that was my experience when I was in your shoes.

        •  

          If you turn down a 'suitable' role you're not eligible for redundancy unfortunately. That's why they brought it up.

          •  

            @jkart: I'm just speaking based on my experience . Thats what HR clarified with me.

            In any case, i disagree.
            If its a similar role, they could just move you. You have no choice, except to resign.

            If its a role you need to apply for, then its different enough. If you choose to turn it down (eg. due to pay downgrade) then you remain in your current role - which will be made redundant and they'll be required to give you a redundancy.

            BUT every company is different and perhaps OP's company policy is different. Above is just my opinion and also my experience.

            •  

              @SmiTTy: A pay downgrade qualifies you for redundancy, even if you accept, as it’s not a suitable role, That said where the downgrade in pay is just the lack of overtime/ allowances it has been ruled as suitable.

              Have to apply for kind of depends on what they mean by apply.

      • +1 vote

        My company has a similar process whereby we need applicants to apply for the role. Nobody else is invited to apply, its just a formality. I suggest you contact HR and let them answer any wuestions you may have.

  • +1 vote

    I can see your pickle. You don't want to ask the obvious question about redundancy pay in case it hurts your chances of getting that pay-out or the new role.

    I would have thought if you role changes significantly enough they'd have to pay you out. Not sure if there's legislation behind this or it's up to individual company policies. For example at my old work, to get a redundancy your role had to change more than 40% to get a payout. But not sure if that was just an internal policy or there's legislation behind it.

    •  

      Exactly. I want the VR but I don't want them to know I want it in case they just make it super hard for it, hence I'm willing to "play the game" so I'm eligible for it.

  •  

    Have you asked them what if you're not interested in applying for the new position?

    • +1 vote

      He can, but he risks kinda ruining his chances of getting the new role if he's not eligible for VR because they offered to re-position him.

      We need a HR guru to chime in here haha.

      • +1 vote

        There's no chance he's eligible for VR because it's not been offered. They're offering a new position (likely) or mandatory redundancy. VR is pretty rare outside the public sector / heavily unionised environments. If the new role is suitable and offered to OP then they're not offering any sort of redundancy in any case, it's the new role or nothing.

        •  

          There's no offer of a new role. There's an offer to apply for a similar role. I think there's ba difference there.

          Since my role no longer exists, do I technically still have a contract with the company ?

          •  

            @phxsun: It kind of depends on what they mean by apply. Often they mean it as a 99.9% chance you'll get offered it.

            Are you a contractor? If you're not a contractor then yes, as a permanent full time employee you're technically employed unless you resign or are officially made redundant. They will have to give you something in writing to tell you that you're being made redundant. It sounds like they want you to have this other role instead though. Is the other role as good / better in terms of pay and position? Put it this way, if it's the same or better pay, and technically a 'suitable job, and they know you won't accept it, they can offer it to you, if you say no, you're effectively quitting, not being made redundant.

            Also going to assume your company doesn't have 15 or fewer employees as they don't have to offer redundancy in that case.

            The Act provides that an employer can make an application to the Fair Work Commission (“FWC”) for an Order that they are not required to pay redundancy pay, or for a reduction in the amount of redundancy payable if they “obtain other acceptable employment for the employee”.

            The question of whether alternative employment is “acceptable” depends on a number of factors including:

               * the nature of the work;
               * the pay in the new position; 
               * working hours;
               * skills;
               * duties;
               * seniority; and
               * the location of the work.
            

            So for example, if a worker whose position is made redundant is offered an alternative position with the same rate of pay, similar or the same level of responsibility and seniority, at the same location or close by, then the FWC would, in all likelihood, consider that that employment was “acceptable” and would make an order that the employer is not required to pay redundancy pay.

            •  

              @jkart: I'm not a contractor. Have been a FTE for 8 years and I work for a big company.

              There's no role that will be as good as what I can get out in the market which is why I was already hoping for a redundancy.

              •  

                @phxsun: Unfortunately if you decline a suitable role they do not have to pay you a redundancy. So you'll have to quit or somehow avoid being offered a role without making it seem like you're trying to avoid being offered the role.

                Basically, don't quit, don't get fired, don't put in a decent application, make them tell you you're not getting that role. It sounds like you don't have much chance though unless you can prove why that role isn't suitable.

                •  

                  @jkart: They haven't offered me a role. They've offered me to apply for a suitable role (and go through the interview process etc) and others during the redeployment period.

                  I certainly won't just hand in my resignation just like that. If I HAVE to apply for a role, I'll just apply for something that is way out of my league.

                  It was clear in the email that "Should you choose not to pursue other internal opportunities your employment will end in redundancy"

                  • +1 vote

                    @phxsun: Cool, keep a copy of that email outside your work email.

                    Like I said, legally, if they offer you a suitable role and you decline, they don't HAVE to offer you a redundancy, but that doesn't mean they won't, I mean, having someone in a role they don't want can cost the company more.

    •  

      I've only just been told but I'm afraid to ask. I know companies wouldn't want to pay redundancy if they don't have to e.g if I resign on my own accord

      •  

        Fair enough on that and to Skramit's point, but you need to decide if you want the new role first. If you have to apply for the new role to stay on, then that's an involuntary redundancy, though an alternative is just to apply for the new role first (without committing), and if/when you get it, decide then.

        •  

          I already know I don't want it. I need a change.

          But "needing a change" isn't grounds to be offered VR, legally anyway

      • +3 votes

        Do not resign of your own accord.

        Most companies in that position will be open about what will happen:
        - if you do not apply for an alternate role
        - if you do apply but are unsuccessful

        I'm assuming the company is reasonably large and well structured and managing the merger (and HR impacts) in a professional manner.

        •  

          Those are correct assumption.

          Just hard to see what they want with me. I'm still relatively young (early 30's) so I could see a case where they want to see me stick around to grow with the company but I'm also part of the old guard where most of my colleagues have been here for probably 5yrs or less.

  • +1 vote

    Where i work, in a similar situation, they will pressure you to apply for the new role. If you don't apply they will pressure you to resign. At that point we just throw it to the union delegates to fight it on our behalf (unless you are non-union then the grief is all yours).

    One strategy we use is to get someone else to ask the question or the union sets up an FAQ and channels all the queries through them.

    A lot of the process should be written up in policy / award / EBA.

    We ahd a similar situation a few years back. The put the toe cutters through the old company and we lost about 40%. Since then they have targeted individuals in one way or another and either forced them to resign or in some cases given a redundancy with a non-disclosure clause attached.

  • +1 vote

    If the new role is more than 50% different - then you are entitled to redundancy.
    In this case, they have confirmed the role is different, and recommend the OP applies.
    There is no confirmation that the OP will get the role.
    If OP applies and is not successful, he would be entitled to redundancy.
    If OP does not apply, then I assume redundancy is the default - as his current role no longer exists. DO NOT resign. Ask when your current role will be complete, and when you can be expected to leave.

    Google your entitlements. Your company should be offering at least this amount. Check their policies as well, it should be documented and you should be able to calculate your entitlements based on your service history:
    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ending-employment/redundancy/red...

  •  

    Are you a member of your relevant union? contact them about it.

    •  

      I'm not. I've actually been a bit obvious to all of that until a mate of mine at work told me about my relevant union because I never thought I'd need it.

  • +1 vote

    Was told my role is now redundant and mentioned a role they think I would be fit for

    …If my role has been made redundant and I don't have interest in the new role, will I be offered a redundancy if I choose not to apply

    If your role is redundant and you don't apply for a new position… then you get a redundancy. How else would it work?

    Not sure your age, but redundancy packages are usually excellent life boosts in terms of allocating funds for investments, extensions etc. Always remember that it's not you that is being made redundant - it's your role. Nothing to do with your self-worth.

    •  

      Early 30's so it absolutely is something I want and will be helpful in life in general. I'm just trying to work out the best way to get it without making it seem like I'm angling for it because I would think the company would rather I just resigned so no no payout is required

      • +2 votes

        From my experience in big corporations, it’s well known many people are after redundancy so it’s not really a big deal. It’s just not spoken about. Angling for VR when you’ve been told your position no longer exists hardly makes you the bad guy. So don’t worry too much about the optics of asking for where you stand.

    •  

      Legally, perhaps differently. By offering the new role it looks like they're seeking to avoid redundancy. OP's only real course seems to be to fail to get the new role. If OP is suitable for the new role (and the role is also 'suitable' and declines it, they will make an application to not pay the redundancy.

      The Act provides that an employer can make an application to the Fair Work Commission (“FWC”) for an Order that they are not required to pay redundancy pay, or for a reduction in the amount of redundancy payable if they “obtain other acceptable employment for the employee”.

      The question of whether alternative employment is “acceptable” depends on a number of factors including:

         * the nature of the work;
         * the pay in the new position; 
         * working hours;
         * skills;
         * duties;
         * seniority; and
         * the location of the work.
      

      So for example, if a worker whose position is made redundant is offered an alternative position with the same rate of pay, similar or the same level of responsibility and seniority, at the same location or close by, then the FWC would, in all likelihood, consider that that employment was “acceptable” and would make an order that the employer is not required to pay redundancy pay.

  •  

    I worked for a big company. I’d made it fairly obvious to my boss, for some time, I was looking for a redundancy. They kept refusing to give me one until they got to where my boss, absolutely, had to get rid of a couple of people in his department so I was, finally, offered one. If you have a good relationship with your boss then I would be sounding him/her out on what is happening here. You might, actually, be doing them a favour by making the decision easy.

    •  

      That's a good point. I think I'll start probing tomorrow and see what my options are first before making it known that I want the redundancy. On paper, you're right if they have some big decisions to make, it might be a win-win situation for me to let them know.

  •  

    Don’t apply = redundancy

    Or

    Apply turn up in thongs or not at all

  •  

    They all work differently.

    NSW Gov, I was offered a new position, same role (had to apply but was guaranteed) or i could make an excuse ie: Medical and submit and would get VR. 80 people, 60 new roles (max 20 VR's). 70 People applied for VR's, they ended up giving us all VR's who wanted them.

    •  

      How many of those that took VR then applied for and got their job back soon after?

      Redundancy can be a nice way to get a cash bump, if you know you can get an equivalent job quickly.

      •  

        As it was Government, you could not be employed directly or indirectly for 12 months after accepting the redundancy.

  • +3 votes

    It's an interesting dilemma, as an older professional worker and wanting to move to another state I asked my boss for a redundancy package, it was knocked back by him & HR. However, later there was a 5% staff reduction objective, and my boss asked if I still wished to go. I confirmed this and departed with a very good package. There was only one to go in our department, BUT, it had to be offered to all, I was told to keep quiet on the situation. Other staff were keen to be considered, but I had had the nod!. So the lesson is talk to your boss, keep him happy in the interim, and when HR / Finance are looking for targets, your leader may well make an offer.
    Good luck with it all, but try to keep your important people onside, it can help!!.

    •  

      I'm certainly not trying to burn any bridges now or in the future. Finance is a smaller industry than most realise

  • +2 votes

    Be very careful (I can see you are). I work in a big corporate where this kind of thing happens often.

    To have your role made redundant, but also beioffered a different job (with same or higher pay) does not necessarily qualify you for a redundancy if you decline to take the new role.

    My suggestion is to seek the advice of a solicitor who specialises in employment law.

  • +2 votes

    My advice comes from having gone through a few restructures in the past 8 years (Melb) and being in exactly the same position as you during the last restructure. I also had 15+ affected staff below me who had mixed feelings (stay or go).

    I believe it really depends if they have an Enterprise Agreement/Registered Agreement; Their agreement should outline redundancy procedures - this should have been given to you.

    Have you been given a restructure document outlining timelines, how to apply for roles, are they EOIs, how many roles are available etc?

    Unfortunately, most companies figure out a way to get what they want. If they haven’t offered you a direct appointment into the new role, then maybe they don’t want to keep you (or they may have rules around if there are more staff than roles you need to apply). I’ve been in the position where these rules have been bent so they get what they want.

    Many polices do state if they found you a similar role (or a role you can be trained up to) at the same or more pay they can offer you this role, if you decline you are resigning.

    Not applying for a role should not impact the fact you are redundant, but you will need to check with HR. HR should be able to give you official answers but HR is on the company side not the side of the staff member (Unions are for employees) It’s also best to get any answers in writing…

    If you are “forced” to apply, it doesn’t mean you have to perform very well, submit a below average application and if you are unlucky to get an interview, tank the interview. Usually they need to document/score each applicant so hopefully you will be below the threshold. In our case if you were successful in the EOI process you could also decide not to take the role opting for the redundancy payout (as per HighAndDry's comment)

    Again, depending on the agreement, after EOI rounds the company may be able to place staff in roles who were not successful/didn’t apply into similar roles which remain vacant.

    As others, have discussed, if you have a good relationship with your manager that’s where I would start. I would also email HR (or get your manager to) to answer any of your questions in writing.

    Good luck, time for me to search Ozbargain to see how I can spend/waste my redundancy payout :)

  • Top