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What are your rights if you've been made redundant?

Some employers may be unaware of their legal obligations to employees. You may have rights to challenge your employer's decision to declare your position redundant, or you may have the right to refuse a position that is offered to you.

The payments proposed by your employer should be checked to ensure that you're paid the right amount and any non-salary rights that you're entitled to (such as bonuses or share options).

Our redundancy lawyers are nationally recognised experts and ideally positioned to ensure you receive all your statutory and contractual entitlements to notice, leave and redundancy pay, as well as non-salary rights.

Who's entitled to redundancy pay?

With the introduction of the National Employment Standards (NES) under the Fair Work Act 2009, most employees are entitled to redundancy pay. In addition, you're entitled to receive notice and a payment equivalent to any accrued but untaken annual leave. Some employees may also be entitled to payment for long service leave and sick leave.

Many employees may also be entitled to payment under the terms of:

  • an award
  • an enterprise agreement
  • a contract of employment
  • a company policy.

If you're employed by a state government department, you may also have a right to redundancy pay under state legislation.

Who is not entitled to redundancy pay? 

The following employees are not entitled to redundancy pay under the Fair Work Act:

  • employees of a business with fewer than 15 employees
  • casual employees
  • people employed on a fixed term contract
  • apprentices
  • people whose employment is terminated as a result of the 'ordinary and customary turnover of labour' (i.e. employers who contract their services to  clients where staff isn't retained after the contract ends, such as commercial security, maintenance and cleaning companies).

The situation becomes more complicated when a business is sold. In most circumstances, if an employee accepts a job with a new employer, the employee is not entitled to redundancy payments from the old employer. Service with the old employer may be recognised for the purpose of long service and other entitlements. However, each situation is different and it's important to seek legal advice from an employment lawyer if you're faced with a situation like this.

We're by your side

Our employment law team has an outstanding record of achieving successful outcomes for employees in both the private and public sector. We know how to navigate this increasingly complex and ever-changing area of the law.


Book an initial consultation with an employment lawyer. Your first consultation costs $690 (incl GST).


At your one hour consult, your employment lawyer will provide advice on your situation, the best action to take, and next steps. 


Most of our cases are resolved out of court, and discretion is assured.

Maurice Blackburn has won more than $3 million in unpaid wages and entitlements for our clients while continuing to pursue 7-Eleven franchisees to recover money that is owed to the workers.

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Employment law

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Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, please call us on 1800 675 346.

We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.