Redundancies are, unfortunately, a fact of life. For the most part they occur because an employer wants to restructure to adapt to a changing business environment. This adaptation means that new roles may be created in, or old roles removed from the employer's organisation. It is the removal of roles (or job positions) within the employer's organisation that leads to that role becoming redundant. When the role is removed the employee in that role is affected, and his or her employment contract terminated, by reason of the redundancy.
Fiji law recognises that employers are entitled to restructure their operations and make roles within their organisations redundant. But Fiji law also regulates this process by amongst other things: restricting the reasons that may justify a redundancy; setting out a redundancy process that must be followed; and setting a minimum standard for the redundancy package that must be given to the employee who may be terminated by reason of redundancy at the end of this process.
In this commercial law update, we provide more information on the minimum standards that employers must follow. But because this is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied on as such - all employers who may be contemplating redundancies should consult a lawyer first. It must also be remembered that at all times all employers owe a duty to treat their employees with good faith, and the redundancy process under Fiji law must not be used as a disguise to terminate employees. Getting this process wrong, can be an expensive mistake, and we briefly discuss recent case law in this regard from a jurisdiction outside Fiji.