Consulting with Employees about Workplace Change

Consulting with Employees about Workplace Change


We are going through strange and uncertain times, and you may need to make a major workplace change.

Things are different now. They may never be the same again.

The rules of Fair Work still apply! So it’s important to remember what the rules are (and yes they seem to be changing constantly at the moment) and not get caught out by contravening them.

You may need to consult with employees about a workplace change. To ensure you comply with the relevent modern Awards and consultation clauses when implementing changes, here’s a checklist for you to follow.


  • Make it clear at all times that you are open to consulting with the employee about your decision. They are part of your team and you will need them when business picks up again.
  • Provide the employee with a letter that clearly sets out all the proposed changes to the job, including the reason for the change. Explain how the employee will be affected, and outline the measures you took to avert or mitigate the adverse effects of the changes.
  • State an effective date for the change that is at least as long as the employee’s notice of termination period. So if you would normally need to give an employee one weeks notice of termination, you should give them one weeks notice of the changes.
  • Ask for the employee’s input on issues and proposed changes to their employment conditions.
  • Discuss with the employee how any adverse impact on them can be avoided.
  • Hold a meeting with the employee to obtain heir response to the proposed changes, either face to face in the workplace or online if you are not a distributed workforce.
  • Give careful consideration to matters raised by the employee in relation to the changes.
  • Hold a second meeting with the employee at least 24 hours later, in which you explain your decision regarding their employment, based on the initial meeting.
  • Confirm in writing your decision to change the employee’s position, and the reasons for it.
  • Retain file notes or other records of all meetings with employees about a change to their position so you can demonstrate that your business had an open mind in relation to the issue.
  • Appoint someone who will respond to queries about the change. Encourage the affected employees to raise their queries and concerns with this person.


workplace change


Your business is on the line.

Your and your employees’ livelihoods are on the line.

You’ve invested blood, sweat and tears to get your business to where it is now.

Things are changing at a pace that’s difficult to keep up with.

In these most stressful times, your loyal employees and customers are your most valuable asset.

If you look after your employees, they will look after your customers, who will look after your business.

Good communication always good for business. In times like these, when you’re faced with a major workplace change, it becomes crucial.



For other resources on how to deal with this evolving situation, check out our COVID-19 resources page.


COVID-19 Resources


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