Hi all.

I work in a government department in Victoria.

My circumstances:
  • I was made redundant in April of 2014, and have undertaken 7 fixed term secondments over the last 5 years in different roles.
  • My current secondment finishes in June 30th 2019.
  • On June 2018 (nearly 1 year ago), I was moved to an "Unassigned Employee" position - which is a position for employees who voluntarily relinquish their substantive position after serving more than 12 months of fixed term secondments.
  • I was made aware of my "Unassigned Employee" position in January this year when I enquired about my.
  • Regarding the "Unassigned Employee" change: I wasn't consulted, I don't even know what substantive position I relinquished is, and obviously this position change was involuntary.
  • Further more, in March 2019 (1 month ago), the government announced it was closing the agency. The current Enterprise Agreement, due to expire in December of this year (2019), will not be renegotiated. A transition of employees to the new department is now underway, and both departments have articulated that no separation packages will be offered from either departments.

My request:
There is a clause in the current enterprise agreement that states that an employee who has not been redeployed to an on going role can request the organisation retrench them. I requested the organisation retrench me earlier this month (April) upon news of my department closure and imminent transition of employees to the other department.

Intention to reject:
The HR department has done everything to persuade me against pursuing my request. It has advised that I am ineligible for a redundancy because I am an "Unassigned Employee" and voluntarily relinquished my substantive position - which I don't agree with. And HR has indicated it sees no reason to process my request until June 30th because I still have work to perform. After pressing that I deserve to have a formal response to my request, I have a meeting scheduled on Monday 29th April and HR have indicated they intend to reject my request.

What do I do:
My greatest fear is that time is against me - that I will be transitioned to a new department soon - a department which has a different Enterprise Agreement from my current employer, and I fear my redundancy rights will become unclear through the transition. I sense that HR is stalling towards this outcome. There are also others who are in a similar redundancy position and I have heard they have been stalled as well, but I have only been in contact with one of them. I am prepared to seek consultation with the Union, who have been surprisingly quiet lately. I'm also planning to seek legal advice - which obviously costs money. And I don't want to spend money unless I have a high probability of succeeding.

Any insights for me are deeply welcome.

Thanks in advance.