A Failure to Consult by the Employer

In a recent case of Lee -v- Mission Australia [2017] FWC 3557, the Fair Work Commission took the rare step of granting an injunction to prevent the employer from making an employee redundant who was on parental leave. This case demonstrates why employers need to ensure they are having appropriate conversations when dealing with redundancy and parental leave.redundancy and parental leave

Critically, the Fair Work Commission considered carefully the consultation obligation on the employer’s enterprise bargaining agreement, and decided that the employer had failed to properly consult because they could not demonstrate “meaningful consultation” in the circumstances, where:

  1. The employee was only given 4 weeks’ notice of the redundancy.
  2. The employee was due to return to work some 10 months later.
  3. The employee’s parental leave was not a financial burden to the employer.

Need help with redundancy and parental leave?

If you are considering making staff on parental leave redundant, or want to ensure that you are effectively addressing the consultation clause under a relevant Award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, then contact Adam Foster by email or call (03) 9629 9629.

For more information and advice, check out our Frequently Asked Questions or click here to read more about Redundancy.