Redundancy: What Is an Unfair Termination by an Employer?

Employees can get sacked for many reasons, but one of the saddest grounds for the decision is that they are no longer needed or their employer can no longer afford them. Unfortunately, this reason is still valid and occurs often. This may put the income of the ex-employee at risk. 

If you’ve recently experienced the same situation and would like to understand if your employer’s choice was legally acceptable, read on. We are going to talk about redundancy and its relationship to laws regarding unfair termination. 

Introducing Redundancy

Redundancy of Employment is when a company reduces their workforce when a job is no longer necessary, considered “redundant.” These are the common scenarios that people become redundant to their own company:

  • Your company introduces a new machine that can do your job faster and more accurately
  • Your company gave up some employees due to slow business growth 
  • Your company ended up under new management and restructured
  • Your company needs to change its local operation to international or overseas
  • Your company is closing down

Kinds of Redundancy

Redundancy also comes in two different types: genuine redundancy and dismissal. Redundancy is genuine if your company is guilty of the following:

  • You are no longer needed not because of a machine to replace you. They no longer need that service.
  • You had a short-time job agreement. 

When the redundancy is proven genuine, you cannot file an unfair dismissal claim against your employer. On the other hand, the dismissal is not genuine at all if they fall under any of the following categories:

  • Your job is still an important part of the organisation, and the company decides to hire someone else as your replacement.
  • They did not give enough fair warning to the employee before proceeding with the decision.
  • They made it look like an internal rearrangement.

The Employer Responsibility 

Any employee requires notification from the employer before termination of employment. Consultation needs to take place before the employer decides to make any changes to the business. 

During the consultation, the employer needs to inform the employees who would be affected by the changes. They also need to clearly define the consequences, including the expected results from the changes and the step by step proposal on how to mitigate the repercussions for the employee. They should also open the floor for any suggestions from the employees regarding changes they might apply.

More importantly, before they implement the termination, they need to create a formal termination of employment letter to every employee, including the step-by-step guide on how they plan to handle the process. 

Should they need to terminate more than fifteen members of their staff, they would be required to provide written notification to Services Australia. 


Every employer has the power to do what they think is needed by the company. That includes firing or hiring an employee. However, there are specific laws and requirements they need to follow to protect their employees. One of them is notifying their employees about the changes they plan to enact.

If you think you are a victim of wrongful termination in WA, Australia, talk to us at Workclaims Australia. We are a team of registered industrial agents with a thorough knowledge of the Fair Work Act 2009. We can provide you with legal advice on your current situation and the stages of the complaint process should it need to occur. Call us today and let us discuss. 

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