Can an employer withdraw a redundancy?
The first thing to remember is that a redundancy outcome can only occur once a fair and reasonable consultation process has occurred.
So what happens when you have followed a process, issued the redundancy notice, confirmed the employee will finish on a date in the near future, and operational requirements change where you need to retain the role?
Unfortunately, this scenario does happen.
Generally, a termination cannot be withdrawn by an employer once the notice of termination of employment has been given to an employee, even when the employee has not yet finished their notice period with you.
At this point in time, a discussion needs to occur between the employer and employee. An agreement must be reached between both parties for the termination to be withdrawn.
If the employee does not wish to agree to remain, the employee may elect to take the redundancy as planned, leaving the employer with no option but to process the redundancy.
In this situation, the employee has elected to take the redundancy, but the business requires the position to continue. The end result is that there is a need in your business until you can fill that vacancy, which then puts added pressure on those employees who remain.
There may also be ill feeling already at play with the remaining workforce feeling the loss of a work colleague and potential friend.
Due to all of the above, it is imperative that employers invest the time to carefully determine their operational needs for the short and longer term prior to commencing any redundancy process to ensure situations such as these be avoided.
This is why the consultation component of a fair and reasonable process is important as there may be other short term solutions that don’t involve redundancy.
If you require advice or assistance with understanding your obligations in relation to termination of employment or the redundancy process, or should you require support regarding any HR matter, please contact the team at HR Advice Online at [email protected] or on 1300 720 004.
Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors, such as government legislation changes, may not be up to date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.