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Understanding redundancy


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#26 *Spikey*

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:09 PM

I also concur with the union advice.

FWIW, in the past I've been in organisations that had highly effective internal IT, that delivered help services within the hour - meaning people remained productive, with little down time due to computer problems.

That did not stop them outsourcing the entire lot to an external, off site provider. The numbers in the short term looked good, and that's what they went with. They didn't take into account the impact of three day turn around (eg, no work completed in that time because of lack of computer access) and the indirect costs. The staff largely left - some returned on contracts for a while, until they got better offers - and they've got the most useless IT system on the planet.

I am so grateful for my current IT stuff - I can usually get something sorted in under 15 minutes, or within 24 hours for bigger issues (like new apps etc).

#27 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:11 PM

I would say from your update, the manager has had a heads up that the structure is going to be flattened. Hence the scramble to do tasks they wouldn't normally do. However it can be a bit of a lucky dip about who stays and goes. Often it's last in, first out, as often their redundancy payout is the lowest. Also it's often who you know and who you are mates with as people making the decision take politics into account. Being good at your job is low on the list.
Australia actually lucky that redunacy is more common, in NZ it's rare to have any compensation apart from a notice period ( I got made redundant twice) and DH has been through it once here in Australia plus watched his company get whittled down due to restructuring. In the IT industry is funny about outsourcing and contracters. They go through fads, a big push to outsource and cut overheads, then things going terrible and everything being brought in house and so on.
They may move to just having contractors rather than permanent staff and those contractors can be working pretty much in a full time capacity. It's just their wages come out of a different budget and and be accounted for differently than a full time employee.

#28 Etta

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:34 PM

I agree with the advice to join the NTEU if you are not already a member. They should be involved right from the start throughout the whole process. I think there is something to this effect in our EA but it rarely happens.

All the best - it can be a stressful time.

#29 Once Was A Pom

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:39 PM

Another vote for talking to the Union.

#30 Dianalynch

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:54 PM

If you’ve been there a while it could be a good opportunity to get a payout and look for something else - I’d try to get the next role lined up though

In the meantime do good work, start asking questions about why your work is being given elsewhere and ask for it back. Now is not the time for a laid back attitude, your colleagues sound like they are ready to throw you under the bus.

#31 ExpatInAsia

Posted 10 October 2019 - 06:25 PM

Definitely join the union.

If you have been there for a while then a redundancy could be an opportunity for you to branch out to something else using your payout.

Do your research about what employment opportunities are out there and how long it might take you to find another job.

#32 lozoodle

Posted 11 October 2019 - 08:54 AM

Bear in mind that redundancy payouts are capped and aren't always that great either. Unless of course your contract has a redundancy provision over and above the standard.

#33 SeaPrincess

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:07 AM

Join the union, although when I was in a union, they required 6 months of membership before they would assist (to prevent people joining when they needed them, then leaving when an issue was resolved).

Having worked in a place where redundancies occurred constantly and extended to departmental heads with some restructures, I’d be looking for alternative work and getting out. In fact, my department was largely unaffected, but it’s very unsettling.

Everywhere I’ve worked, the redundancy calculations are written into contracts, although I think there may have been some negotiation with voluntary redundancies. I know of people who have been declined voluntary redundancy though. They kept their jobs.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 11 October 2019 - 09:08 AM.


#34 *Spikey*

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:17 AM

it can be in a contract, or a Workplace Agreement.

#35 seayork2002

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:18 AM

I was casual and made redundant while I was pregnant (no it was not due to me being pregnant they did have genuine reasons)  got a very good payout which as a casual not sure I should have got anything but it meant I was fine for the rest of the pregnancy and meant I was able to have a year off before i chose to go back to work.

For you I would suggest is there any governing bodies of your industry you can call? central HR department etc. ?

#36 TheGreenSheep

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:29 AM

DHs previous company had been restructuring over two-three years. He attended his annual Performance Review meeting and was blindsided with a ‘voluntary redundancy’ chat, so no opportunity to prepare mentally. When the shock wore off he polished his resume, reached out to his network, attended training courses for succeeding in finding a job, and made sure he squeezed every cent out of them. On his final day he was offered a better paid job in his network of friends and colleagues.

I believe you are in the best position to plan your future at this time. If they offer it, take it, as staying is a poisoned chalice. Use the time to line everything up financially and professionally so that if the meeting happens you are best prepared.

#37 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:57 AM

So yesterday at 4:45, I got a notice of redundancy.

Redundancy due to economic downturn. It makes sense, I’ve gone from nearly full time to having nothing on. The branch I work for is closing.

The workplace was pretty toxic too, so not all bad.


The possibility of me taking a casual roll has been raised.  How would that work? Would I still be made redundant?

Who should I bring in as a support person? It’s a phone hook up and no union reps in town for my union.

#38 *Spikey*

Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:18 AM

Your union rep should be able to dial in as well. If they are pressuring you into a time slot, ask for a reschedule so that the union person can be available to dial in as well. And it is okay not to be able to have that meeting on Monday - being retrenched is pretty upsetting and you want to be relatively collected for it.

You should have a support person, one who can take notes about the conversation with you. It could be a colleague, manager, friend. Preferably your union rep!

Don't commit to anything during the discussion - ask them to email all paperwork so you can consider your best options.

The shift to casual is something you definitely want to discuss with your union - your contract or workplace agreement will have something to say about that.

Sorry to hear this has happened to you - it sucks.

#39 kadoodle

Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:45 AM

I’m sorry to hear that BB. Redundancy feels like such a kick in the guts.

Absolutely get your union to conference call into the meeting (when I was made redundant several years ago, we Skyped my employer from the Melbourne office), and don’t do the meeting until you’ve had a chance to process the initial shock.

#40 HamsterPower

Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:09 PM

I took a redundancy last year and it was the best thing I  have done, truly was. The company was becoming toxic and I was finding it increasingly frustrating and stressful. I heard there were yet more redundancies coming so let it be known I would be open to it. It’s a delicate game though as this approach could backfire. No union, no employment lawyer, all pretty straight forward but my entitlements were clear in my contract and well above the legal minimum.

I was able to leave a job I probably should have left a year earlier but with a nice big cheque in my hand. Paid off the mortgage, took a holiday and worked sporadically for 6 months through choice- really needed to unwind and get back to my old self. Such a luxury.

I did worry about finding a new job but ended up with three offers at once, all significantly higher $ than my previous salary and better roles. I actually felt more appreciated than I had in years.

It worked out so well for me but I know that isn’t always the case at all and I am so so grateful. I am in IT too and it really is just the way things go in the industry so try to use it to your advantage if you can.

#41 SeaPrincess

Posted 12 October 2019 - 02:43 PM

View PostBethlehem Babe, on 12 October 2019 - 10:57 AM, said:

The possibility of me taking a casual roll has been raised.  How would that work? Would I still be made redundant?

You should be. I worked with someone who had been with the company since it started up. She had changed departments twice and each time they made her redundant first (not what I would have done, but whatever).

#42 gettin my fance on

Posted 12 October 2019 - 07:56 PM

View PostHeather11, on 10 October 2019 - 01:19 PM, said:

I don't understand why a business would go through a redundancy to then employ people into the same position.  Unless of course they didn't like the person in that job.

From my understanding paying out people is pretty expensive. Redundancy pay, long service leave, annual leave.  If they are just going to replace that person then they are not saving money at all.

OP, you said they brought in contractors.  Maybe they need to employ temporary staff for the periods they are busy, ie don't work during holidays.  I work in a school and I don't work or get paid during school holidays.

My DH was made redundant almost 30 years after 21+ years with his company.  This was due to recession.  Over 3000 staff across the country were made redundant.  In his area, many were very quickly offered positions as consultants because you guessed it either the wrong staff (and their skills) had been made redundant or too many from a department or division had been made redundant and the remaining staff were swamped and not coping with the same workload but far fewer skilled people to do the work.

Often restructures with ensuing redundancies look great on paper, but do not play out well after people with decades of knowledge or even just bums on seats to get the job done, are shown the door.

#43 The new me

Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:14 PM

Take the money and run
There I so much you can do with a decent package and still get another job.

Was made redundant about five years ago and never regreted taking the package even though I was offered other roles in the company,  as these were not is deemed comparable I couldn't be forced to accept.

I know others from my team who took the package and have since returned to the company after the two year exclusion period was up.

It is stressful at the time, but everyone I know who has been through it was happy with the process

#44 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 14 October 2019 - 09:48 AM

View PostBethlehem Babe, on 12 October 2019 - 10:57 AM, said:

So yesterday at 4:45, I got a notice of redundancy.

Redundancy due to economic downturn. It makes sense, I’ve gone from nearly full time to having nothing on. The branch I work for is closing.

The workplace was pretty toxic too, so not all bad.

The possibility of me taking a casual roll has been raised.  How would that work? Would I still be made redundant?

Who should I bring in as a support person? It’s a phone hook up and no union reps in town for my union.

I would take the redundancy and get that finalised first and THEN consider whether you want to work for them as a casual/contract.

Make sure that you agreeing to work casually doesn't impact your redundancy arrangements. If you agree to go casual straight away and start working as a casual, they may say that you are then no longer eligible for a redundancy pay-out.

https://www.fairwork...-redundancy-pay

#45 lizzzard

Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:54 AM

All the calls to ‘join the union’  puzzle me. Although I rarely agree with the tactics employed by a number of unions (or their ethics) I understand the role they play for workers who have limited options to get other jobs in certain sectors, and also little individual power (aircraft mechanics for example) which mean they can get majorly exploited by employers. But this isnt the context here. Sometimes management decisions don’t seem to make sense....but staff are also not always aware of all the factors being considered either. Disagreeing with a decision doesn’t make is unfair or prevent your ability to respond constructively. For a highly skilled IT professional I would guess the OP is in a reasonable position to adapt and find new opportunities.

Edited by lizzzard, 14 October 2019 - 10:55 AM.


#46 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 14 October 2019 - 11:02 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 14 October 2019 - 10:54 AM, said:

All the calls to ‘join the union’  puzzle me. Although I rarely agree with the tactics employed by a number of unions (or their ethics) I understand the role they play for workers who have limited options to get other jobs in certain sectors, and also little individual power (aircraft mechanics for example) which mean they can get majorly exploited by employers. But this isnt the context here. Sometimes management decisions don’t seem to make sense....but staff are also not always aware of all the factors being considered either. Disagreeing with a decision doesn’t make is unfair or prevent your ability to respond constructively. For a highly skilled IT professional I would guess the OP is in a reasonable position to adapt and find new opportunities.
I doubt the union will change what management have ultimately planned for a staff re-structure (if that's what is going to happen), but union support might ensure the OP gets the best deal/arrangement that he can get.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 14 October 2019 - 11:02 AM.


#47 kadoodle

Posted 14 October 2019 - 11:32 AM

View PostYodaTheWrinkledOne, on 14 October 2019 - 11:02 AM, said:


I doubt the union will change what management have ultimately planned for a staff re-structure (if that's what is going to happen), but union support might ensure the OP gets the best deal/arrangement that he can get.

Advice regarding upskilling, career changes, who’s hiring, and counseling are on offer, too. When I was a gopher with the ASU, I spent a lot of time making cups of tea, stocking up on tissues and handing out biscuits, because that shoulder to cry on is worth it’s weight in little green frogs.

#48 Dadto2

Posted 14 October 2019 - 12:16 PM

View Postlizzzard, on 14 October 2019 - 10:54 AM, said:

All the calls to ‘join the union’  puzzle me. Although I rarely agree with the tactics employed by a number of unions (or their ethics) I understand the role they play for workers who have limited options to get other jobs in certain sectors, and also little individual power (aircraft mechanics for example) which mean they can get majorly exploited by employers. But this isnt the context here. Sometimes management decisions don’t seem to make sense....but staff are also not always aware of all the factors being considered either. Disagreeing with a decision doesn’t make is unfair or prevent your ability to respond constructively. For a highly skilled IT professional I would guess the OP is in a reasonable position to adapt and find new opportunities.

I should be able to pick up work pretty easily. I do want to stay, I guess if it was a simple case of no work for me, then I would take the redundancy and move on. The last restructure was illogical, lots of mistakes were made, some teams were made redundant, their work outsourced, which was a huge mistake as others have pointed out. Looks great on paper, all the money they're saving, but suddenly a job can take 3 days instead of 20mins.

So I'm anticipating another illogical restructure. That's not said out of bitterness or cynicism, it's a tough job trying to restructure a massive IT department, they need to understand the intricacies of each team, what work they do, what their work load is like, what will be the demand for that team in the future etc And really their job is impossible, they won't get it right, because of the sheer complexity of the restructure.

If my role was made redundant, are they obligated to demonstrate to me why the role was made redundant?

Edited by Dadto2, 14 October 2019 - 12:42 PM.


#49 darcswan

Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:58 PM

View PostDadto2, on 14 October 2019 - 12:16 PM, said:

The last restructure was illogical, lots of mistakes were made, some teams were made redundant, their work outsourced, which was a huge mistake as others have pointed out. Looks great on paper, all the money they're saving, but suddenly a job can take 3 days instead of 20mins.

If my role was made redundant, are they obligated to demonstrate to me why the role was made redundant?

Mmm, don't forget you're looking at it from one perspective. Businesses are much more macro. They choose big, top line numbers to change. Like cost of doing business.

Ie. Something that takes 20 min now takes 3 days - on the ground that looks illogical, especially since you care about doing a good job.

But if you're looking at the big picture, you might see that the majority of those requests were non urgent, or that 3 days doesn't really change productivity (even if it does impact morale). Or you might know of an upcoming change that makes the whole system obsolete anyway, so it's just a transition state.


Your organisation will explain why the role is redundant. But you will still be missing the majority of the strategic information to put it in context. Your organisation is not obligated to justify the redundancy to your satisfaction.

That said, if you think that decision makers are missing important information, then now is a great time to share that through the chain of command.

#50 Dadto2

Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:26 PM

View Postdarcswan, on 14 October 2019 - 01:58 PM, said:

Mmm, don't forget you're looking at it from one perspective. Businesses are much more macro. They choose big, top line numbers to change. Like cost of doing business.

Ie. Something that takes 20 min now takes 3 days - on the ground that looks illogical, especially since you care about doing a good job.

But if you're looking at the big picture, you might see that the majority of those requests were non urgent, or that 3 days doesn't really change productivity (even if it does impact morale). Or you might know of an upcoming change that makes the whole system obsolete anyway, so it's just a transition state.


Your organisation will explain why the role is redundant. But you will still be missing the majority of the strategic information to put it in context. Your organisation is not obligated to justify the redundancy to your satisfaction.

That said, if you think that decision makers are missing important information, then now is a great time to share that through the chain of command.

Ok, thanks for that. Makes sense.




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