Ombudsman clears Commander's 600 staff cuts

Ombudsman clears Commander's 600 staff cuts

Commander said to have met or exceeded obligations to former employees

The Australian Office of the Workplace Ombudsman has cleared Commander's decision to axe 600 staff earlier this year of breaches to the Workplace Relations Act.

The Ombudsman instigated an audit after the ASX-listed integrator cut 600 staff, or one-third of its workforce in January as part of an overarching business turnaround plan. The redundancies, which were first revealed by <i>ARN</i> sources in early January, included cuts to its IT hardware and support areas and management. The review also saw Commander largely exit the hardware resale market.

In a statement released today, Commander said the Ombudsman found it had met or exceeded its obligations to former employees and said it would not be taking further action.

Commander CEO and managing director, Amanda Lacaze, said it had been confident of a good outcome from the audit.

"We are very pleased the Workplace Ombudsman has confirmed that this commitment was reflected in our fair dealings with former employees," she said in the statement.

"An audit into alleged breaches of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 by Commander Communications Limited has now been finalised with no breaches recorded against the company in respect of payment of redundancy entitlements to those former employees who were terminated by way of redundancy on or about January 31 2008," a spokesperson from the Workplace Ombudsman stated. "As a result the Workplace Ombudsman will be taking no further action in relation to this matter."

Commander's decision to cut headcount triggered alarm bells at several of its vendor partners, who also claimed the changes could see the integrator's premier partner status fall.

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