ABS sackings thwarted by the IRC

By 6 May 2009 6

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has been spanked by the IRC over its recent process of telling employees they are no longer fit for their jobs. Some people had already been shown the door, some were (presumably anxiously) awaiting their verdicts.  The ABS has been ordered to allow everyone to return to work if they choose.

I don’t work at the ABS, and I don’t know anyone who has lost their job, but if it were me, and someone had told me I was unfit for my job, I would be pretty damn reluctant to go back and work for the bastards. Guess it depends on whether they have managed to line up alternative employment, are content to retire or wish to lick their wounds for a while. At least they have a choice.

Here’s the ABC news article.

And here’s the CPSU writeup (with more detail).

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6 Responses to
ABS sackings thwarted by the IRC
G-Fresh 12:12 pm
06 May 09

Gee that sounds like a good way to manage a workplace, allow the employees to decide whether or not they’re needed.

AG Canberra 12:57 pm
06 May 09

If “forced” redundancies occur aren’t the payouts much larger than if voluntary ones are implemented?

And wasn’t this a case of the ABS trying to get rid of those they didn’t want as opposed to the best staff putting their hands up for voluntary redundancies?….(and the ABS being left with the duds?)

NickD 6:52 pm
06 May 09

G-Fresh said :

Gee that sounds like a good way to manage a workplace, allow the employees to decide whether or not they’re needed.

According to the ruling the Workplace Relations Act (and presumably the ABS’ certified agreement) required that they consult with the union in situations like this. The ABS is obviously a signatory to the CA and needs to abide by the relevant legislation.

From what I’ve heard, some of the people abruptly sacked by the ABS on the grounds of underperformance were regarded by their colleagues as performing well and they hadn’t received any warnings before their manager read them a form letter from HR and security marched them out of the building. That’s not legal in any business or government agency.

Ian 8:32 pm
06 May 09

I wonder which management genius thought they’d get away with this fine approach to people management. First person they sack after the consultation needs to be themselves.

GnT 9:48 pm
06 May 09

I heard the grounds used by ABS to boot staff, was not “performance” (or lack there of), but failing to meet their new increased “capability” requirements. This gets them out of the arduous and lengthy performance review process, as the targeted staff are made “excess” and shown the door immediately.

Meanwhile other government departments are waiting in the wings to see the final outcome as they sharpen their knives…

Pandy 10:53 pm
06 May 09

ABS executives: I know where you work. Expect a stern letter of reproach.

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