Redeployment and redundancy changes attack rights at work

Tuesday 07 Oct 2014

Premier Barnett presented the state government's changes to redeployment and redundancy laws as reasonable and modest, but in truth, they are a disgraceful attack on your rights at work.

The Public Sector Commission has released a framework document which outlines a flawed and unfair set of changes for public sector workers. It is full of gaps, and fails to offer any reassurance that the new system will be fairly applied. It follows the recent pattern of public sector rules being drafted in a vague and almost unenforceable way, which favours employers.

While there are some potential benefits from earlier access to internal redeployment this has to be balanced against the other far more detrimental proposals.

The government has proposed that formal redeployment should cease after a maximum of six months at which point an employee would be compulsorily made redundant.

Worse, the proposals punish employees for wanting to remain in employment and seek redeployment rather than a redundancy payout. The penalty for wanting to keep working is a redundancy payout capped at 16 weeks - 36 weeks less than the current voluntary severance package.

The changes are awful for those who work in regional areas where there are limited alternative positions, or employed in classifications where positions are scarce, or where there are unusual skill sets.

The union is working with Unions WA in response to these proposed changes.  When the draft regulations are available we will report further.

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