Can I be made redundant because my new manager doesn’t like me?

Can I be made redundant because my new manager doesn’t like me?

Your position is redundant when your employer no longer desires to have it performed by anyone.

Employers often resist making a severance payment to an eligible employee whose position has been made redundant. You are not obliged to accept the new position offered to you if it is not a suitable alternative position. There are a number of ways in which you can assess whether your position has been made redundant. These include looking at the new organisational chart. The first step is to obtain a copy of that chart. Secondly, you should get a precise position description for the new role. Often, companies do not want to commit themselves to a precise position description. To do so makes it clear whether you have the suitable skills and whether the new position proves that your old position was made redundant.

Therefore your position can be redundant even if the work to be done is in new and different ways with different positions or combination of work responsibilities. If your position is made redundant and you do not act to recover your redundancy payment, you will later find that it is too late to do so because a court may think that you have accepted the new position which means you have considered the new position to be suitable. If later you are unable to fulfil the new role, you can be dismissed for poor performance and not receive any redundancy payment. That may be particularly gruelling for you because you will be in a weak position to find a new role in another organisation, having been dismissed for poor performance in your old role. However, had you successfully obtained a redundancy payment, not only would you have money but also you could honestly state to any new employer that your termination was on a “no fault” basis due to a restructure.

For example, as a long term employee of a large corporation, your duties may include managing a small team of direct reports. A new General Manager may have been appointed and is restructuring your department. You may oppose some of the changes which are ineffective and detrimental to the department. Your new General Manager might get very upset and in the restructure you may be offered a new position which you do not wish to take because it would be a demotion, despite your pay remaining the same. Your new role might be more sales than management.

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) provides you with certain minimum entitlements as an employee whose employment is terminated by reason of redundancy. You may be entitled to a much larger payout than you or your employer think.

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