Redeployment, redundancy and your rights

Thursday 21 May 2015

On 1 May 2015, the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 2014 came into force as part of the Barnett Government's workforce 'reform'.

According to Premier Colin Barnett, these changes will be applied sparingly: "...there's not going to be some mass sacking of public servants, but I expect we'll see in the order of 100 leave".

If this is the true intention of the government's changes, this should be demonstrated by the new redeployment system.

The new redeployment system has three distinct phases.

The first phase is where an employee's position is abolished and the employee becomes surplus to requirements. The key factor in this phase is that there are no specified time limits, which means WA Health should take all possible steps to find an employee a reasonable alternative position.

It is also in this first phase that WA Health can offer a voluntary severance package. Whether a severance package is offered is up to the Department and whether or not they have approval from government to make an offer.

In this phase, an employee should be proactively looking out for their interests. Our advice is to make a decision about what you want to do. If you need or want to keep working, work towards that. If there is a voluntary severance offer, and that suits you, accept it.

If you want to keep working, you will need to work with your case manager. If you don't feel you getting a fair go or are being given enough support or opportunities, talk with your management (if you can) or call the union.

You can always talk with the union and we encourage you to let us know if your position has been abolished and you are now 'registrable'. You should also keep the union up to date with any changes so we can work out if you need to enforce your right to appeal at any stage.

If WA Health cannot find you a position you move to phase two, which is where you are registered as a redeployee with the Public Sector Commission. This means you have further possible job options. Bear in mind that if you get redeployed to the public service you would be paid less and lose your salary packaging.

The other drawback in phase two is that once you are registered as a redeployee you have six months to find a new job or your employment will be terminated.

The final phase, phase three, is where your employment is terminated. If you have been a redeployee for six months, the maximum final forced redundancy payment is six months' salary.

SUMMARY

Phase One

If your position is abolished, the first redeployment phase is an unspecified period of time in which WA Health work with you to find you a new job, or offer you voluntary severance of up to 12 months' pay.

Phase Two

You have six months as a redeployee, and the Public Sector Commission will work with you to find you a job in health and/or the wider public service.

Phase Three

Your employment ends after six months as a redeployee, and you get six months' pay.

Only time will tell if Colin Barnett was being honest about the effects of these unnecessary and unfair changes to redeployment and redundancy rules.

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