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Rehiring for a role that was made redundant

Q: Can we rehire in the same position after a redundancy? If not, what is the legislation that prevents it and what period of time after the role has been made redundant can we hire someone for the same role?

A: A redundancy is a genuine redundancy when the person’s job doesn’t need to be performed by anyone. Hiring a person to perform a role close to the time when it was selected for redundancy may indicate that the role still needs to be performed by someone and, accordingly, that the position wasn’t actually redundant. This can expose your business to an unfair dismissal claim from the dismissed employee.

There is no statutory time limit within which you can rehire a person after a redundancy. You should consider what changes have occurred in the business to mean that the previously redundant role is now required. For example, a business may have made a sales position redundant because of a down-turn in the market. However, several months later when the market picks up, it may be necessary to rehire someone in that same position.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Redundancy and retrenchment for current advice.

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