FWA has held that the alleged “plain vanilla” redundancies of four employees were not genuine, as it would have been reasonable in all the circumstances for the employer to redeploy the employees within another division of its enterprise.

Four employees from one division of an employer’s enterprise were made redundant because the projects they were working on had come to an end. There were 16 vacancies in another division of the employer’s enterprise. The employer subsequently employed 16 new workers to fill the vacancies and required some of them to undertake a 10 week training course. The four employees filed unfair dismissal applications alleging that their dismissals were not genuine redundancies.

FWA held that the employees were “potentially suitable” for redeployment into four of the 16 vacancies in the other division. The employees could have undertaken a training course (which some of the successful applicants have been required to do) and the employer could have provided “on the job support” and supervision in order to remedy any “perceived inadequacies”.

Crema and others v Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd [2012] FWA 5322