COVID-19 & Redundancy – The Employee Edition

October 28th, 2020 - Barbara Buckett

Times are uncertain and the pandemic is taking its toll on employment relationships. We are seeing an increase on redundancies as businesses struggle to find solutions to deal with economic shock waves. It is important that you know your rights.


The 8 key things you should know:

  1. Information: You should have all relevant information that the employer is relying on to make any decisions adverse to your employment. This translates into a powerful part of your armoury in relation to any challenge and consultation.

  2. The role not the person: It is the role that can be disestablished, not the person inhabiting it. Unjustified redundancies target the person in the role rather than the role

  3. Genuine reasons: The restructure and redundancy cannot be a means of managing you out of your employment. It must be for proper organisation/business reasons and not utilised as a quick way to deal with other issues.  The decisions made must be genuine and for proper business purposes and must be justifiable, fair and reasonable.

  4. Consultation: you have the right to be consulted before any decisions are made. This includes receiving all relevant information, right to give feedback and it be considered  within reasonable timeframes.

  5. Retention of employment options: If your role has been disestablished, you are entitled to be considered for alternative ongoing employment options such as including redeployment and selection for alternative positions.  This may include access to retraining/upskilling for alternative positions

  6. Fair methods of selection for alternative positions: You are entitled to compete for alternative positions on a level playing fieldSelection processes ought to be neutral and fair and should take into account pertinent information such as skills, experience and performance.

  7. Feedback and up to-date information: At all stages, the processes should be fair and transparent – you should be kept fully updated as to the process.

  8. Redundancy compensation: this will depend on the terms of the employment contract if it is automatic otherwise it is a matter of negotiation.  Check your contract.


Note: any concerns should be raised early on.  If you have doubts about the genuineness of the redundancy seek legal advice.

The BuckettLaw team is here to help – contact us if you wish to have a confidential discussion regarding your options.

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

Enjoy a complimentary 15-minute phone call as a first-time offer.

Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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