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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 42203
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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I have been employed on a permanent part time basis (30 hours

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I have been employed on a permanent part time basis (30 hours pw) as a Patient Assistant at a private hospital for 4 1/2 years. A role which is mainly caring for the patients, though not involved in medications and nursing skills, and includes assisting the nursing staff, patient relatives, rooms, transfers, restocking treatment room etc. My employer is now changing my 'scope of practice' so that my role is that of hospital orderly (patient transfers), a heavy manual job. About 15 people are being moved to this role. The hospital is now employing casual junior nursing students for the role of Assistants in Nursing.
Though the hospital has not admitted it, I believe this a cost cutting measure ... employ casual juniors to do our work and provide for us a job which is entirely unsuitable. As a 55 year old lady I am quite unsuitable for a job which is entirely heavy manual work. I shall be forced to resign if the changes take place rather than risk injury.
Can the hospital make such changes? They have admitted that the role of Patient Assistant will no longer exist and that the new role will be 'Porterage'.
They have already employed casual juniors who have exactly the same tasks as I have as a Patient Assistant, though they are being called "Assistants in Nursing"
Can you help me?
Good Evening

Thank you for your question. To Introduce myself I am a sydney based Solicitor and will do my best to provide you with relevant information to assist you.

It appears that they are making you redundant and under the law they have to try adn re-deply you to a position that is appropriate.

If there is no such position then they have to pay you out a redundancy.

If you cannot do the job and they force you to resign you have a right to sue for unfair dismissal.

Do you have it in writing that the old job does not exist?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So far I have nothing in writing from them but I have just drafted a letter to them which I intend to send this week requesting the information in writing as follows:

Am I to be made redundant?

If so what is the redundancy package?

If my role is redundant, why have junior casual staff already been employed to fulfil that role? And what is my intended job title and function?

If I am not to be made redundant and the position for in which I am employed is still required, why can I no longer fulfil that role?

My point is that they have said that the role of PA is finished and that all PA employees will be moved to the role of 'porterage' but they have already taken on new junior staff to do the work I was employed to do but the new casuals are simply being given a different job title.

Are they allowed to do this? Remove one lot and take on another lot to do the same job as the first lot but change the job title so it sounds like a different job.

The job of 'porterage' (how insulting!) is work for a strong robust person which involves mostly strenuous manual work. I and the other PAs are mature ladies who have been caring for patients for years. I probably could do it (though I believe I risk an injury) but I really really see it as an offence and a demotion.

Can they completely change my role? And give my job to someone cheaper?

Sorry for rambling, I am trying to be clear!

Thank you.
Good Evening

In short, they are allowed to move employees around and give them different duties.

There has to be a position that they can reasonably be expected to fill.

If they are doing this to cause you to resign, this is not permitted and it is unfair dismissal.

It appears, with them brining in juniors, your job is not redundant so this is a ploy to have people resign and avoid paying compensation.

You should send the letter and see what they come back with. Also if there is an award you are paid under you also need to look at that. It will be clearer on what they can do.

You are in a good position to get compensation for unfair dismissal as I believe this is what they are trying to do.

I hope this is of assistance. If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know before leaving any feedback.

If I have assisted please do not forget to leave me with positive feedback.

Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 42203
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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