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Workplace Change: Managing Consulting Obligations

3 Lessons None

About this course

Are you in the process of changing your workplace operations? Will it have an impact on your employees? Are you aware of your consultation obligations?

Employers are required to consult with employees once they make a definite decision to introduce major workplace change that significantly impact on employees. Consultation with employees must occur as early as practicable to allow an opportunity to discuss the changes before they commence.

What is workplace change? Major workplace change refers to changes in production, program, organisational structure or technology that is likely to significantly impact on employees. 

What does significant mean? Significant includes:

  • major changes in workplace composition;
  • changes to operation or size of the workforce or in the skills required;
  • elimination or diminution of job opportunities, promotion opportunities or job tenure;
  • Needing to retrain or transfer staff to other work locations; and restructuring of job specifications.

Specifically, employers must consult with employees when there is workplace change that will result in termination of employment, or an alteration of an employee’s regular roster or ordinary hours of work. Furthermore, employers must take all reasonable steps to consult with any employee on unpaid parental leave where workplace changes will impact on the status, pay or location of the employee’s pre-parental leave position.

The consultation process includes written notification of the proposed changes as well as meeting to discuss the changes with the employee. Each consultation should occur as a one on one meeting with the employee, allowing a support person to be present if the employee wishes.

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