Employee entitlements

As an employee whose position is being made redundant you have certain rights under the Fair Work Act 2009. The payout you are entitled to receive will depend on how long you’ve been with the company and any outstanding entitlements you are owed. The factsheet available on the Fair Work website outlines your rights in plain language.

If you are a member of a trade union you will also be entitled to information through your union representative and you should keep in touch with the union as they are often involved in communication with companies who are planning staff redundancies as they represent their members’ rights.

Assistance from Centrelink

Whether you believe you are eligible for Centrelink benefits or not, it is a good idea to contact Centrelink and request an assessment of your eligibility to apply for any benefits you may be entitled to. A good starting point is this factsheet from Centrelink.

If you believe you are entitled to a Centrelink benefit you can register and ‘intent to claim’ with Centrelink. If you register an intent to claim and then submit your completed claim forms within 14 days, Centrelink can backdate your claim to the date of your intent to claim date.

Visiting Centrelink

  • If you are visiting Centrelink be aware of the opening and closing times of your local branch
  • Try to visit at non-peak times (ask for the best times to attend when you call)
  • Remember to bring all the information you think you might need (even if you are unsure if you will need it). This can save you another trip and a lot of wasted time
  • Anytime you visit or call Centrelink take notes (or have someone you trust take notes for you) recording who you spoke to, what was said and what actions you or Centrelink have committed to

Your responsibilities

Make sure that you understand your responsibilities for any payment you receive from Centrelink. You need to be aware of deadlines to report information to Centrelink and inform them of any change to your circumstances if you are unsure if they would affect your payment eligibility.

Receiving Centrelink benefits after redundancy

When you receive a payout resulting from your position being made redundant this will affect how quickly you become eligible to receive benefits such as Newstart Allowance.

The periods that can apply are the Income Maintenance Period which considers the redundancy payment you have received and the Liquid Assets Waiting Period which considers funds you have that are able to be used until you become eligible to receive a payment. To find out more about this visit the Centrelink website.

Eligibility for other Centrelink payments and services

As part of your assessment, Centrelink will determine your eligibility to a range of additional payments and services but sometimes you may have to ask for an assessment to be done if you believe you are entitled to a payment/ serviced but haven’t been offered it.

Before your Centrelink appointment it is worthwhile conducting a preliminary check of what is available and your eligibility. The items below will help you to do this.

Please note that this information is to be used as a starting point only, you should check the Centrelink website for further information on what you may be eligible for.

Family Tax Benefit Part A or B

Your entitlement to Family Tax Benefit may change as a result of your redundancy. Visit the Centrelink website to find out more.

Low Income Health Care Card

If you become unemployed (or ‘under-employed’) you may become eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card.

A Low Income Health Care Card entitles you to:

  • cheaper medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

You may also be entitled to:

  • concessions offered by private companies, and
  • state and territory government and local council concessions, such as:
  • energy and electricity bills
  • health-care costs, including ambulance and dental and eye care
  • public-transport costs
  • educational fees, and
  • water rates

Please check with your state or territory government to find out what concessions are available to Low Income Health Care Card holders – concessional entitlements may vary between states and territories.

This information was taken from the Centrelink website. To confirm and check your eligibility please visit the webpage to find out more.

Rent Assistance

You may be able to get Rent Assistance if you:

  • receive a pension (special rules apply if you are aged under 21 and receive Disability Support Pension)
  • have dependent children and get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit
  • have care of a child between 14 and 35 per cent of the time and are not eligible for Family Tax Benefit but do meet other Family Tax Benefit requirements or both
  • receive an allowance or benefit (but don’t have dependent children) and:
  • are over 25
  • have a partner or
  • are under 25 and living permanently or indefinitely apart from your parents or guardians

To receive Rent Assistance, you must also meet the residence requirements of your pension, allowance, or benefit.

This information was taken from the Centrelink website. To confirm and check your eligibility please visit the webpage to find out more.

Other assistance includes:

Advance payment

Automatic bill payment (Centrepay)