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Workplace change

Last updated July 2024

This chapter examines the legal risks that arise when you implement major workplace changes, such as restructuring and downsizing.

When you make a workplace change that has an adverse effect on one or more of your employees, you will be exposed to legal risk. Such workplace changes include:

  • restructuring;
  • downsizing;
  • cost-cutting;
  • outsourcing; and
  • insourcing.
Important: Making a workplace change will often oblige you to consult with affected employees. Failing to fulfil this obligation will increase your legal exposure.


Definition: Restructuring

Restructuring is the process by which a business changes its internal structure. A restructure may result in:
- changes in reporting hierarchy;
- changes to employees’ duties and responsibilities;
- newly created jobs; and
- redundancies.