Redundancy not a sham, so bullying claim 'irrelevant'

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Redundancy not a sham, so bullying claim 'irrelevant'

A Telstra worker's redundancy was not part of a conspiracy against her, the AIRC has ruled in finding there were genuine operational reasons for terminating her employment.

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A Telstra worker's redundancy was not part of a conspiracy against her, the AIRC has ruled in finding there were genuine operational reasons for terminating her employment.
 
The former Telstra records manager's role was deemed redundant in March 2009. Declining an offer of alternative employment, the worker instead filed an unfair dismissal claim under the now repealed Workplace Relations Act 1996.
 
She contended that as the new role involved working with her previous supervisor who she claimed was 'unapproachable', 'unfriendly' and had bullied her, she could not accept the position.
 
An earlier workers compensation claim alleging bullying and harassment by her supervisor had been dismissed.
 
Telstra job assessment
 
The worker's supervisor and Human Resources had both assessed that her job role had progressively diminished over the years due to changes in the way records were now managed, until only 20% of the standard job tasks now remained.
 
The worker argued that the redundancy was a 'sham' and a 'sleight of hand', challenging Telstra's 20% assessment.
 
No conspiracy
 
Commissioner Frank Raffaelli found there was no evidence that the assessment by Human Resources was part of any sham or adverse arrangement to the worker, and accepted Telstra’s 20% assessment of her job role.
 
Further, he found that whatever conduct or mistreatment may have occurred, it was not 'relevant to the assessment as to whether the job substantially remained or not'.
 
'Whatever allegations have been made, there is no evidence that the decision of the respondent (Telstra) acting on Mr Harold's (HR) assessment was wrong, was a sham or sleight of hand or some conspiracy,' Raffaelli said.
 
Finding Telstra had genuine operational reasons for making the worker redundant, the AIRC rejected the unfair dismissal claim.
 
 
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