Redundancy – A time for privacy

Ange Connor

Job cuts and redundancies tend to make media headlines in a regional community such as Ballarat and in some ways I can understand why. As a community we want to know about job losses and the potential impact to our region but publishing the names of the individuals affected by the job cuts at the City of Ballarat was unnecessary in my opinion.

As a provider of Outplacement and Redundancy support services, I cannot understand why The Courier felt the need to publish the specific positions and names of the people who hold those positions as part of a breaking news story?

I understand the nature of working in public service, the need for transparency, and that the public may not always agree with the decisions our Council makes, but at the end of the day these affected employees are people who have lost their jobs, they are members of our community and deserve the same respect and privacy that employees in other organisations receive when experiencing redundancy.

Redundancy is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved and that includes the redundant employee, work colleagues and management. Redundancy has become much more common in today’s business world due to the need for businesses to continually adapt their operations, structure and resources to operate efficiently. In saying that, redundancy is still very much taboo. Individuals who have been made redundant are sometimes sensitive about the fact, may have had their confidence damaged and are sometimes hesitant to tell prospective employers they were made redundant in their last position. On the other hand, is a potential candidates redundancy genuine, is the first question asked by many businesses when considering a redundant employee for a new position. This stems from the perception that redundancy was often a way to get rid of “the dead wood” as it was often referred to.

Being made redundant is similar to the grieving process. The emotions experienced range from shock and anger to feelings of loss; regret, blame and the feeling of letting loved ones down are common. The stress and pressure felt can be debilitating as reality sets in and the pressure of financial commitments and providing for family members sinks in. Often individuals don’t even know how to and fear telling their loved ones, extended family and friends of their redundancy. Redundancy is challenging for anyone who has to experience it and that is why many redundant employees are offered and provided with support services during the transition. The search for a new career can also be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The way in which we apply for jobs has changed rapidly over the years and this in itself can leave people feeling out of their comfort zone.

Publically naming the redundant employees at the City of Ballarat, has robbed these people of their right to grieve privately, to tell their loved ones, family members and friends in their own time and in their own way, and privately transition to new employment opportunities. In a regional city these are not just names in print, these are people, people we will run in to at the supermarket, or at kids sport or at the local coffee shop; and they have had what little control they had in dealing with the transition taken away from them.

Redundancy is a journey, a period of transition and a time of change. Our work impacts greatly on our personal lives; financially, socially, emotionally, mentally and physically. There is no right or wrong way in coping with being made redundant, it’s a personal journey that takes time and anyone affected by redundancy should have the right to deal with it privately, in their own way and in their own time.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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  • Total agree 100% with your comments Ange. Being made redundant can be a life changing moment and depending on your individual circumstances this could have a positive or negative impact. What The Courier did last week was to show a lack of respect for these individuals in our community, by not allowing them to deal with the issue of redundancy on their own terms.

    • Thanks Paul, appreciate your thoughts. I don’t think people realise how challenging a redundancy can be until they have experienced it first hand or supported a family member or friend through the process and why having that privacy is so crucial. Ange


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