Overseas Posting not a Right

A Fair Work Commission decision sheds light on the obligation of multinational companies to consider overseas employment for employees affected by redundancy.

The commission found the failure of a multinational company to redeploy an employee who was made redundant into an overseas position was not unfair.

The company, part of a multinational employer group, was found to have complied with its obligation to consider reasonable redeployment options, even though it declined to place an employee in an available position overseas when it made employees in its Brisbane office redundant.

The commission found that only after considering basic questions about a company’s structure, such as whether it has a formal overseas relocations policy and central management control over the relevant overseas office, need the task of assessing an employee’s skills, experience and qualifications against available positions be undertaken.

At any given time there may be a number of vacancies in a firm’s overseas offices. This decision establishes that it will only be necessary to consider international options for redeployment in certain circumstances.

A number of other factors which the commission said need to be considered include the costs of relocating an employee from one country to another and training to fit relevant job requirements or gain necessary language skills.

Do you have international operations? Contact us at Foulsham & Geddes if you have any questions about employment issues.

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