Redundancy then re-employment opportunity

Q&A

Redundancy then re-employment opportunity

Employers should attempt to ameliorate the impact of redundancy by redeploying staff, if possible. What are employers’ obligations when an employee is made redundant and then a work opportunity arises?

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Employers should attempt to ameliorate the impact of redundancy by redeploying staff, if possible. What are employers’ obligations when an employee is made redundant and then a work opportunity arises?
 
This question was posed to WorkplaceInfo.
 
We have employees in a number of retail outlets in different locations, although some are in close proximity to each other. We have had to close one of our outlets because of a downturn in trade, and all staff in that store have been made redundant, with payment of the appropriate severance payments.
 
As part of the consultation process prior to the redundancies occurring, we were unable to find suitable alternate employment in any of our other stores. The employees were subsequently made redundant approximately one month ago.
 
A position in one of the other outlets has now become available because of a resignation. Are we obliged to offer this position to any of the employees who have been made redundant?
 
There would be no obligation on the employer to re-employ any of the employees recently made redundant if they have already been dismissed, although there could be advantages in re-hiring an employee who has previous experience in both the job and from having worked for the company.
 
If the employees were still employed when the position in the other outlet became available, the employer may be obliged under the consultation process to offer the position to a suitably qualified employee (if there is such an employee) who may have already been earmarked for termination due to redundancy.
 
Continuity of service
 
When re-hiring an employee, the employer should check whether there is continuity of service with respect to certain employment conditions.
 
For example, state and territory long service leave statutes may provide that previous service is taken into account where an employee is terminated by the employer and re-engaged within a certain period (usually two or three months), although there is no such provision in relation to conditions under the Standard, ie annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, parental leave.
 
Tax issues
 
There may also be tax implications for an employee regarding the favourable treatment of their redundancy pay where an employee is re-engaged within a short period after dismissal.
 
Source: Paul Munro, IR Consultant.
 
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