Question from Rosie Long ([email protected])
My question has two levels:
We are restructuring a department and one employees role is set to change – she previously had 5 tasks on her PD but will now only be required to complete one of those tasks, plus an additional task.
We would also require her to work in a different location 3 of the 5 days per week which would include travel of approximately 4 hours per day.
Are we able to make these changes or would we need to make her redundant, pay out her payment and then offer her the new position?
It is beyond the scope of the Help Desk to provide you with specific advice, although we can clarify the law in this area.
It is possible to alter the key elements of an employee’s job if this is permitted by the terms of the employee’s employment contract or under the modern award or enterprise agreement applicable to that employee. The key elements of an employee’s role may be found in these documents, as well as relevant position descriptions or advertisements.
Generally though, if the roles and responsibilities of a job change to such a degree that for all intents and purposes it no longer exists, then this should be treated as a genuine redundancy. The altered job may, however, be regarded as suitable redeployment, whereby acceptance of this offer of redeployment will disentitle him/her to redundancy pay. Based on the information you have provided, there appears to be a real risk that these changes would amount to a redundancy.
In the event that a business re-structure triggers a redundancy or any permitted change to an employee’s job, it is necessary to comply with any consultation requirements under an applicable modern award, enterprise agreement or employment contract.
When it comes to changing the location of an employee’s work, some employment contracts may allow employers to change the work location of an employee. Where such a clause exists, however, a change in worker’s location will generally not be allowed if it will cause the employer significant hardship (e.g. substantial commutes).