“Excess” employees forced out

Any nurse that becomes “excess” after 30 April 2012 will be subject to a new NSW Health policy directive, bringing nurses into line with changes that were implemented for the rest of the public sector in August 2011.

Under the new policy, if a nurse’s position is declared excess they will be offered a voluntary redundancy. They will have two weeks to accept or reject the redundancy. If accepted, the redundancy package will be as follows:

  • 3 weeks pay for every year of continuous service up to a maximum of 39 weeks.
  • 4 weeks pay in lieu of notice.
  • Up to 8 weeks pay incentive payment.
  • An additional weeks pay for being over 45 years of age.

Should an “excess” nurse reject the package she will have salary maintenance for three months. During this three-month period she must find a permanent position at a similar grade or within 5% of her salary.

If an employee is unsuccessful in obtaining a permanent position during the three-month period they will forcibly be made redundant. This redundancy payment will be paid at a lower rate as per the NSW Employment Protection Act.

These conditions are far less generous than conditions that apply for nurses made “excess” before 30 April 2012.

Those “excess” employees were placed in positions of similar or lesser classifications and were salary maintained either for three years or indefinitely, depending on the salary received at time of displacement.

Employees declared “excess” before April 30 2012, and not placed in permanent positions, are offered an “incentivised” voluntary redundancy of $10,000, which must be accepted within the timeframe determined by the employer (normally two weeks).