A recent decision of the FWC reminds employers of the need to ensure that alternative offers of employment when making an individual redundant are acceptable, and not simply comparable.
In the decision of Lange v Zevenbergen, the employer made an application to the FWC to vary redundancy pay, as the employee, Zevenbergen had accepted alternative employment.
This alternative employment would have reduced Zevenbergen’s redundancy entitlement from 10 weeks to approximately 6 weeks.
Mr Zevenbergen challenged the application to vary his redundancy on the ground that he had been offered a casual role that was not comparable to his former position and that the full time position had only come to him after the redundancy.
The Conmission considered whether the casual role offered at the time of redundancy was an acceptable alternative offer of employment. The Commission decided that, even though the hours were less and there were no leave entitlements, it was acceptable because the employee had consented to it being acceptable to suit the needs of his family at that time.
This decision is a reminder to employers that offering alternative employment options can include casual employment provided that the employee accepts the proposal. In this case the employee’s acceptance was key to the Commission approving the redundancy variation.