Being made redundant by your employer can be shocking and upsetting. This is especially true if you’ve been with the company for quite some time. There’s nothing more frustrating than leaving a job, a lifestyle, and a routine that you’ve gotten used to and grown to love.
But while this news is indeed hard to take, especially in these trying times, it’s essential to note that there are things that you (and your employer) can do to make things a bit easier. It’s a good idea to seek out professional redundancy planning services for some expert advice, and when it comes to searching for a new job, there are some options available to you as well.
To help you transition to the next chapter in your life, your employer should allow you to have time off for job interviews during your redundancy notice period. Companies are required to give you a chance to attend interviews and look for possible new employment without having to worry about their pay.
Read on to find out more about redundancy notice periods and whether you can legally take time off for job searching.
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What is a Redundancy Notice Period in Australia?
After the redundancy announcement, the employer is required to give the employee a redundancy notice period and a redundancy payment which is more commonly known as ‘severance pay’. In addition, the employer must also release all wages, benefits, and other statutory entitlements promised to the employee during employment.
The minimum notice period for redundancy in Australia will depend on the number of years you’ve been with the company, from 1 week through to 4 weeks notice. The length of redundancy notice required could also be different if specified in an employment contract or industry award.
However, there are instances when the employer is not required to give the redundant employee a notice of termination. For example, when an employee is onboarded on a casual basis or when an employee is let go due to serious misconduct, a notice of termination will not be required.
Can I Get Time off for Job Interviews During the Redundancy Notice Period?
Whether you’re entitled to time off for job interviews during a redundancy notice period depends on the individual employment contract or award that applies. Under most awards in Australia, your employer must give you up to one full day of paid time off per week for job searching if requested.
This allows you to actively look for new employment while still finishing the redundancy notice period. If you need more than one day off to complete a specific hiring process, such as a job interview, your employer may allow you to take annual leave during your notice period.
This time off is for more than just interviews, too. It allows you to visit job centres, attend job fairs, visit recruitment agencies, apply for study courses, update your CV, complete application processes, or attend job interviews.
Do I Need Proof of Attending a Job Interview for Time off During Redundancy Notice Period?
Yes, to take time off for interviews during a redundancy notice period, you’ll need to show proof you have something scheduled. However, you may need to present proof that a job interview did take place. A call or a short letter from the interviewing company will usually be enough to present as proof.
Can My Employer Refuse Me Time Off For Job Interviews During Redundancy Notice Period?
Based on Australian labour laws, your employer cannot refuse your request for time off for job interviews during the redundancy notice period without any valid reason. Since the purpose of the time off is to give you a chance to explore your career options once the notice period is over, companies must agree to this request.
If your employer rejects a request for time off without any reasonable explanation, you may be able to escalate a claim against the company in an Employment Tribunal.
How Can I Take More Than One Day Off?
There are instances when you will require more than one day to complete your employment seeking process. In cases like this, you may request to use annual leave. However, when requesting to use leave days in this way, your employer may require sufficient evidence of that job interview. A quick call from the representative or a short letter from the recruiter may be used to prove this request.
Should I Explain My Redundancy In A Job Interview?
There is no shame in disclosing your redundancy to a potential employer, so you don’t have to avoid mentioning it on your CV or during the job interview. Remember that redundancy is not your fault, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about!
When indicating your redundancy in your CV, you can focus on relevant background information, your primary responsibilities, and your key achievements while holding the position. For example, you might find it beneficial to discuss the reasons why your position was made redundant.
However, when sharing your redundancy notice in a job interview, you might prefer to focus on your contributions and successes while employed. You can also talk about how you’ve honed your skills, taken additional courses, completed unfinished life plans, or how you’ve spent your time while preparing for your future employment.
Can I Choose a Payment in Lieu Rather Than Work Redundancy Notice Period?
Some employers may offer payment in lieu rather than have your report for work for the whole redundancy notice period. However, this is something that must be requested or negotiated with your employer on a case-by-case basis.
During the redundancy notice period, your employer can give you three different options:
- You can remain employed over the entire duration of the redundancy notice. This means that you have to report for work during the entire period.
- Your employer can pay out the notice period (also called payment in lieu of notice) to you. This means that the amount that you will receive will equal the total amount of pay that you are set to receive during the whole duration of the notice.
- Your employer may allow you to have a combination of the first two options. This means that you may report for work for a portion of the notice period, and the remainder is paid out.
Can I Refuse To Work My Redundancy Notice Period?
You are required to report for work during the whole redundancy notice period if requested by your employer. This means that you will be just like any other employee in that regard: you will continue to perform all your duties and receive pay as usual. This is different from a dismissal, where you would receive a lump sum and are let go immediately.
If you need to take time off during your redundancy notice period, it’s always best to negotiate with your employer. Generally, you’ll be able to find a solution that suits their business needs and lets you transition to the next step in your working life smoothly.
Being made redundant at a time when you’re facing unique circumstances – such as personal illness, family-related leave, or being made redundant while pregnant – can make it difficult to work the full redundancy notice period. Any request for leave during the notice period or to arrange payment in lieu of notice should be discussed directly with your employer.
Do I Accrue Holidays During Notice Period in Australia?
Accruing holidays during your notice period depends on whether or not the notice period is paid out. If you are in your notice period and continue to work as per regular employment, you will continue to earn entitlements, including leave. However, if instead your notice period is paid out, you will no longer be able to accrue further leave.
How Does Being Made Redundant Affect My Long Service Leave?
As an employee in Australia, you are still entitled to your long service leave upon redundancy in the form of a payout. If you have been working at a business long enough to qualify for long service leave or a pro-rata payment, you’ll receive a lump sum when made redundant.
This article is provided as general information only and does not consider your specific situation, objectives or needs. WealthVisory Private Clients makes no warranties about the ongoing completeness or accuracy of this information. It does not represent financial advice upon which any person may act. Implementation and suitability requires a detailed analysis of your specific circumstances.
Matthew has a wide ranging background in business, finance, taxation and accounting with over 25
years’ experience, firstly as an Accountant before becoming a Financial Planner. Matthew has been in
the Financial Planning Industry since March 1998 and has been the principal of his own financial
planning practice since 2003.
Matthew has studied a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Newcastle University majoring in Financial
Accounting and the Diploma of Financial Planning from Deakin University. Matthew is a Registered Tax
Agent and is a member of the National Tax & Accountants Association (NTAA).
Matthew has particular expertise in the areas of retirement planning, superannuation, investments and
insurance. His emphasis is on building a professional, integral and lasting relationship with clients with
the objective of assisting them to achieve their financial and lifestyle goals.