Strong Response to VR Program builds on QR National Transformation
More than 660 voluntary redundancies are expected to occur at QR National this financial year.
QR National is planning to effect 600 voluntary redundancies next week pending the final round of union consultation on a specific voluntary redundancy program that was proposed by QR National on 7 February 2011. Expressions of interest opened on 4 March and closed on 25 March.
Pending the final round of union consultation redundancy notices are scheduled to be sent to staff on or about 11 April, with staff due to leave on 15 April.
“Approximately 3,500 employees were in scope for this voluntary redundancy program,” QR National’s Chief Human Resources Officer, John Stephens said.
“We received more than 920 expressions of interest and after carefully considering business and operational requirements, QR National has decided that 600 staff would be made redundant at this time.
“Pending union consultation it is QR National’s intention to make these positions redundant from 15 April.
“The 600 redundancies are in addition to more than 60 that have already occurred during the course of the financial year.”
Mr Stephens said the approximate cost of the current voluntary redundancy program to EBIT would be $50 million providing a payback within 11 months, the cost of which would be treated as an adjustment to underlying earnings for the full year result. The total cash cost including the payout of leave entitlements will be $75 million.
He said the voluntary redundancies were occurring across the business nationally with the majority in head office, corporate and administrative roles, in workshops and the freight business.
The VR Program included, in addition to standard entitlements, a redundancy payment of 3 weeks pay for each year of service for permanent employees with 5 or more years of service. This was capped at a maximum redundancy payment of 104 weeks pay.
The VR Program included for employees with more than one year but less than 5 years of completed service a redundancy payment of 15 weeks pay and a redundancy payment of 6 weeks pay for a permanent employee with less than one year of completed service.
“As foreshadowed with staff and unions in February, it’s anticipated that following voluntary redundancies QR National will also develop a proposal to restructure its operations. This proposal to restructure will be subject to the normal consultative process with employees and unions. It is possible that further expressions of interest may be considered at this time.”
QR National is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2009/10, QR National transported more than 260 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. It also operates and manages the 2300 kilometre Central Queensland coal network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone.