There are a number of scenarios in which you may need to consider negotiating a new job role within your current workplace. For example, you may have been offered a new role, your employer may be seeking to change your role, or you may simply think you deserve a promotion or a raise.

The main legal issue when considering changes to your role within your workplace is how those changes will affect your contract of employment. If your contract expressly provides for variation, it will generally be able to be changed by your employer unilaterally. In this case, your employer may be able to make changes to your position and contract without the need for an entirely new contract and without the need for your consent. Of course, it will still be possible for you to negotiate with your employer over what those changes should be. In particular, if your new role is to involve significantly greater responsibilities, there may be grounds to negotiate an upgraded remuneration package.

However, if the variations are not provided for in your contract or if the proposed change falls outside of the scope of changes permitted by the contract, then changes cannot be imposed by the employer without your consent. If there is a consensual decision to make a change, then there is no requirement that it be formally recorded – it will be sufficient if it is simply agreed orally. Whether a change is able to be made without the need to vary or terminate the contract will depend on whether there are ‘sufficiently significant’ changes to your duties or remuneration.

Nonetheless, if you have been offered a new role within your organisation or feel you deserve a promotion, you may want to request a new employment contract. You may then enter into contract negotiations to ensure the new terms are suitable for you. In particular, you may be able to negotiate over salary, job title, benefits, post-employment restraints and termination clauses.

Salary guides show that as the experience and seniority of employees increases, so too do the variances in their salaries. As such, it will be particularly important for executive employees to consider the remuneration and benefits offered in the new position, as there may be greater scope to negotiate.

Finally, if you are unhappy with proposed changes to your role, you should consider whether the changes are of such significance that they amount to a redundancy. A redundancy is where your role is no longer required to be performed due to changes in the operational requirements of your employer. If the changes are so substantial that it could appropriately be considered a redundancy of your previous role, you will be entitled to redundancy pay.

Whether you are pushing for a new job role or your employer is seeking to change your role, there will generally be latitude to negotiate the terms on which you enter into that new position. At JFMLAW we can help you understand your employment contract, inform you of your legal rights and responsibilities, and assist in facilitating discussions with your employer in order to ensure you can achieve the best outcome for yourself and your employer. Contact us on 02 9331 0266 and we will help you out.