Making a position redundant in your business

When can you recruit after making someone redundant? When you make a position redundant in your business, it is the job that is disestablished – not the employee.

The affected employee only has to leave the business if there is no other suitable job for him or her at that time.

Employers are required to offer upcoming suitable positions to the person affected by the position’s disestablishment for six months following disestablishment.

 This being the case, the short answer is that if a position is disestablished, you cannot hire a new employee into it – simply because it no longer exists.

Business restructuring process must precede redundancy

When can you recruit after making someone redundant? The process prior to disestablishing a position in your business is also critical to transparency and risk reduction – given how frequently employees losing their jobs due to their position being disestablished (or made redundant) challenge the decision with a grievance.

The risk of grievance is reduced significantly if the employer follows the correct restructuring process leading up to any positions being established or disestablished. The process can also get messy if any performance management of the employee has taken place leading up to this process. This can be challenged as a sham redundancy- buts that’s another blog topic!

A restructure process must be based on the needs of the business and be managed in accordance to the business plan. Restructuring is conducted when a business moves to a growth or scaling up phase as much as it is when a business needs to scale down. 

Restructuring process

When can you recruit after making someone redundant? After the business planning and structure revisions are considered at management level – based on business requirements, the initial stage of restructuring is one of consultation and soliciting feedback from the employees. Anyone potentially impacted by a change in the structure must be consulted – and there is a strict sequence of events to be followed to ensure this process is compliant. We are not listing that information here, simply because compliance requirements can change from time to time.

Employees should be invited to have a support person attend meetings with them (but are not required to do so) – meaning that enough time to allow people to contact their support person and enough time to consider the situation to hand must be allowed for in the process – but not so much time that they begin to become anxious. A couple of days are generally enough.

Most employers getting into difficulty with grievances have skipped this step and presumed that they have the right to make changes that impact on employees without a consultation process.

Following consultation, the employer is required to take time to consider feedback before moving forward.

In the case of a team where all employees have the same position and one or more positions are to be disestablished, in the absence of a company policy stating the redundancy structure when restructuring occurs (which we recommend for all businesses), each team member must be individually met with an interviewed for the remaining positions.

In this instance, a selection process is required. That process must also be transparent and laid out at the initial consultation so that everyone knows what to expect.

Following your reconsideration, another meeting must be held.

Positive side effects of managing a restructure and redundancy process correctly are as follows:

Firstly, you have taken time to consider the restructure from a business point of view and you have a business based reason for the moves at play. This ensures no personality or performance related issues are able to be connected to your decisions.

Secondly, because the team has been informed from the outset, had the opportunity to input and to consider what the business needs, they will adjust much more easily to losing a job or a teammate.

Employers acting in good faith putting business needs at the fore will generally manage this process without it feeling personal for the employees, which means less risk and less grief due to a team member’s job and thus a team member being removed.

If you feel you need assistance or guidance with this process, our team of HR experts are here to help or to manage the process for you. Often that is easier for all concerned. Please contact if you feel that this would be helpful for you.

When can you recruit after making someone redundant