9 January The parent trap: Redundancy and parental leave January 9, 2019 By Reef Admin Leave provisions 0 Is it possible to make an employee’s position redundant while they’re on unpaid parental leave? It’s an interesting question. Here’s the answer. Absence while on parental leave doesn’t offer an employee any greater protection from dismissal than if they were at work. Provided you don’t apply discriminatory or capricious selection criteria in the redundancy decision, there’s nothing to prevent you from making a position redundant while an employee is on parental leave. It’s important to note that it’s the position being made redundant, not the employee. That said, you should apply objective selection criteria and be genuinely satisfied that the redundancy is based on meeting the operational requirements of the business. Redundancy should not be used as a ‘back-door’ method of terminating the employee because of performance, behaviour or other reasons of displeasure. If you select a position for redundancy primarily because the employee is on parental leave, this would be regarded as discriminatory and expose your agency to a potential claim for unfair dismissal or adverse action. Here’s a practical example. You determine that one of four sales positions needs to be made redundant. One of the sales team is on parental leave. It would be discriminatory to select the personal on parental leave if that selection is primarily based on their absence from work. Rather, the criteria for retrenchment should be based on skills, experience, training and performance as compared to the current and future needs of the business. We’re here to help If you need to discuss a redundancy issue, call the REEF Helpline on 1300 616 170 and speak to one of our Workplace Relations advisors. Related Parental leave: What to consider when replacing someone It’s an issue all too well known to real estate employers. You have a pregnant employee who is about to head off on unpaid parental leave. Your anxiety levels start to rise. How are you going to maintain your agency’s level of service while they’re gone? Changes to annual leave provisions now in play In an important decision by the Fair Work Commission, annual leave provisions in modern awards have been varied to provide greater administrative flexibility. The changes apply from the first pay period on or after 29 July 2016. What information must be given to a parental leave replacement employee? REEF Workplace Relations Advisor James Burton answers this important employment question. Changes to Victorian long service leave Victorian real estate employers should be aware of the new Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic). The Act was passed in May and (unless proclaimed to start earlier) will commence operation on 1 November 2018. Domestic violence leave now available to employees From 1 August 2018, all employees covered by modern awards have access to family and domestic violence leave. Here's what you need to know. Managing employee leave applications Do employers have a legal right to require employees to complete a leave application form each time they seek leave? Comments are closed.