What notice am I entitled to at termination?

What notice am I entitled to at termination?

You have to consider a wide range of issues in deciding what to claim.

Are you being discriminated against because of your age?

If you are over the age of 55 you should be very suspicious about the termination of your employment, especially if it is being carried out by a “new” HR manager who is aged between 30 and 40. You may find that you are being targeted because of your age. This especially if you have a considerable amount of unused sick leave because you have been very conscientious over the years and not taken sick leave even when you have been unwell from time to time. In earlier years you may have been appreciated for your loyalty. However, the current CEO (especially if they are new to the job) may see you as more of a liability than as an asset. This will especially be the case if your salary has crept up over the years due to your outstanding performance and you are earning $150,000 to $250,000 per annum. Many people in this category can be replaced with younger and more compliant employees. Their salaries may range from $90,000 to $120,000. You should be aware that your continued accruals of long service leave are also a burden to the company. A new employee will not be accumulating long service leave entitlements until that employee has been with the company for at least seven years. If the warning lights are flashing for you, it’s time to get legal advice because it is very difficult to prove unlawful age discrimination. The new HR Manager will be very conscious of the Equal Opportunity Act and the Fair Work Act and she/he will be keen to micro manage you and undermine you rather than be upfront with you and respectful to you.

You may be entitled to a redundancy which because of your years of service could be as much as one years’ salary package.

If that is the case, the management of the company may be keen to avoid paying this substantial payment especially if it has to answer to a foreign parent company. Economic circumstances in Europe, Japan and America are not nearly so buoyant as Australia and one way for overseas parent companies to increase their profitability is to squeeze Australian subsidiaries for more profits.

The company may have a redundancy policy. You may wish to claim under the old policy and may be entitled to do so. Typically until recent years, many companies have redundancy policies based upon years of service. Often the payment is calculated at between two and four weeks per year of service. This has recently been cut back by many companies to reflect the provisions of the Fair Work Act which are much more limited.
Dependent upon your contract there may be an implied term for reasonable notice to be paid to you. This notice could be six to twelve months, not five weeks being the minimum statutory notice period for a person over the age of 55 with 26 years of service.

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