If you have lost your job, you will need to take care of your financial, mental, and physical wellbeing. The government provides programs, support and resources designed to help you to navigate through the retrenchment process. On this page you’ll find helpful information about understanding your finances (including payouts), whether you are eligible for Centrelink benefits, and how to start looking for a new job.
It is never easy when you find out you have been retrenched. There are many things going through your mind, with the added stress of finding a new job. This can often leave you wondering, what’s next and where do I start?
Early Access Initiative
The Australian Government supports retrenched workers and their partners to find new employment through Workforce Australia, regardless if eligible for income support or not.
If you are a retrenched worker or a partner of a retrenched worker and not eligible for income support because you have received a redundancy payout, you can Directly Register with a Workforce Australia provider under the Early Access initiative.
Retrenched workers will be required to present evidence of retrenchment which can include:
- A retrenchment letter
- A certificate of separation, or
- Other documentation including statutory declaration.
Partners of a retrenched worker will also need to show documentary evidence of partnership, which may include:
- marriage certificate or similar, or
- evidence of joint financial obligations including bank/mortgage statements.
Government Employment Services
Workforce Australia is the Australian Government’s employment service. It helps to improve job outcomes and meet the needs of both job seekers and employers. It is delivered by providers and online located around Australia.
If you have lost your job, you may be eligible to receive help from a Workforce Australia provider. Provider and online services can help you to find a new job in many ways, including:
- help looking for work
- writing a résumé and preparing for interviews
- referrals to jobs in your local area
- training that is suited to the skills that local employers need
- case management so that you are ready to take up and keep a job
- providing access to resources to help with your job including the internet, printers and newspapers.
The Workforce Australia website is a valuable resource for jobseekers. It includes useful articles on how to find a job, and will give you access to JobSearch. JobSearch is a free online jobs website where you can search and apply for jobs.
Workforce Australia website provides pathways for you to consider new careers through such tools as Job Switch. Job Switch allows you to identify jobs based on existing skills and experience from previous employment.
If you want to access Workforce Australia online features, you will need to have a myGov account and have it linked to Workforce Australia to receive employment services support.
You can find your local Workforce Australia provider online or by calling the Digital Services Contact Centre 1800 314 677.
Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG)
Employees who lose their job because their employer went bankrupt or into liquidation may be able to get financial help from the Government.
The Fair Entitlements Guarantee is a legislative safety net scheme of last resort that ensures retrenched employees receive their fair entitlements when the employer is unable to meet their obligations. If the employer has not entered bankruptcy or liquidation, FEG payments are not available—you should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman in relation to the employer’s refusal to pay your entitlements.
For more information, including eligibility and how to apply, visit the FEG page. You can also call the Fair Entitlements Guarantee hotline on 1300 135 040.
Advice on entitlements
All employees who are being retrenched have certain rights under the Fair Work Act 2009 including eligibility for a payout. Payouts are determined by how long you've been with the company and any outstanding entitlements you are owed.
For more information about your rights and obligations, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
You should also be aware that the Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover certain unpaid employment entitlements to eligible employees who lose their job due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer. For more information visit the Fair Entitlements Guarantee page.
Redundancy Information Statement (RIS)
The Redundancy Information Statement (RIS) is a resource designed to help educate workers about all of their rights and entitlements in the event they are retrenched.
The RIS includes information on redundancy pay, notice periods and financial entitlements. It also outlines support services you can access if you have been made redundant, such as help finding a new job, financial advice, and looking after your health and wellbeing.
Will my payout get taxed?
In certain circumstances, a portion of your payout may be tax-free up to a certain limit, based on your years of service with your employer.
Visit the “Taxation of termination payments” page on the Australian Tax Office website for information about the tax implications of any payout you are receiving, including what portion will end up in your bank account after tax.
Receiving Centrelink benefits after retrenchment
Services Australia provides financial assistance in certain circumstances to jobseekers. To find out if you are eligible for any Centrelink benefits, or to find a Centrelink Customer Service Centre in your area, use the Centrelink Payment Finder.
Please note: If you receive a payout as a result of your position being made redundant, you may be subject to an Income Maintenance Period that will affect how quickly you can start receiving certain payments and allowances.
If you wish to contact Centrelink directly, go to the “Contact us” page of the Services Australia website.