The ACTU has today won improved compensation for people who are retrenched or made redundant from their job.

Welcoming the decision of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in the ACTU redundancy test case in Melbourne today, Greg Combet, ACTU Secretary said:

“No one wants to see anyone lose their job. But when workers are retrenched they deserve to be paid decent and fair compensation for the loss of income and uncertainty that this can cause.”

“Around 200,000 Australians are retrenched or made redundant every year and today’s decision by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission will provide them with severance pay of up to 16 weeks pay for ten year’s service.”

“This is a good result for all working people.”

“The ACTU particularly welcomes the extension of severance pay to small business employees.”

“This provides an important new safety net for people working in small businesses.”

“We are disappointed the Commission has not moved to provide better severance entitlements for people employed as casuals given that casuals now comprise 30% of the workforce and as many as 400,000 casual workers have been with their employer more than five years.”

“The ACTU has run this case to improve entitlements for all workers including people not in unions – most union members already have access to better redundancy entitlements.”

“But redundancy payments are only part of the picture. Working people have lives and families and the ACTU believes employers have a responsibility to inform and consult with their workforce and with unions about issues that affect people’s jobs.

“The ACTU is pleased that the Commission has also said that employers should consult with their employees. This is important considering that 1 in 4 retrenched workers get less than 1 days notice of their retrenchment.”

“Today’s decision strengthens Australia’s safety net of minimum wages and conditions.”