This article has been prepared by Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers.
The best option for businesses grappling with impending cuts to JobKeeper is to plan ahead. JobKeeper runs out on 28 March 2021, and often the redundancy process is not a quick one – setting out a strong business case, and award and enterprise agreement obligations regarding consultation and redeployment processes often require significant forward planning.
Therefore, it is important for businesses to get their ducks in a row regarding implementing redundancies. Now is the time to start forecasting projections, planning ahead and getting an idea of the financial and operational state the business will be in come March 2021. Once an idea of this has been determined, start scheduling meetings and having conversations with affected employees. This will enable you to conduct redundancy discussions in a timely, relaxed manner, in close compliance with the relevant legislative procedures, thus minimising the risk of employees challenging your decisions or finding gaps in the process. Bear in mind that award and enterprise agreement obligations often require a business to start consultation as soon as is practicable once a definite decision has been made.
Failure to plan ahead means that if the 28 March 2021 deadline rolls around and you have not initiated preliminary redundancy processes, you may be left without any wage support for weeks while you start implementing redundancies, thus resulting in the business suffering further detriment. Additionally, redundancies en masse can create cash flow issues in and of themselves. To avoid being caught out, businesses should be planning different scenarios now, ranging from best case to worst case situations, in order to prepare for the end of JobKeeper.
Disclaimer: This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2020.