Redundancy decision is not industrial  action

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Redundancy decision is not industrial action

Federal legislation that allows orders to prevent industrial action does not cover redundancy decisions.

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Key Point: Federal legislation that allows orders to prevent industrial action does not cover redundancy decisions. Redundancy decisions are not industrial action within the terms of the legislation.

Detail: An employees’ union argued that an employer (the Age Newspaper) was the subject of a stop order to prevent it continuing with industrial action – ie making certain employees redundant.

The narrow question before a full bench of the AIRC was whether the newspaper giving its employees notice of termination of employment for redundancy constituted industrial action within the meaning of that expression as it is used in s127(1) of the federal Workplace Relations Act 1996.

Considering the definition of industrial action in s4 of the Act, the full bench determined that the newspaper giving its employees notice that they had been made redundant did not fall within the statutory definition of industrial action.

If this had been the intention, the legislation would have made this clear via express wording in the Act.

The full bench noted that this was the first time that this issue had been raised on appeal.

See: AMWU v The Age Company Ltd; CEPU v The Age Company Ltd. PR946290, 11 May 2004– FB of AIRC.

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