Redundancy while on maternity leave

There is an urban myth in Australia to the effect that a person taking maternity leave is immune from and cannot be dismissed for redundancy.  This is incorrect.  In Lai v Symantec (Australia) Pty Ltd (2013) FCCA 625 the applicant was made redundant whilst on maternity leave. The respondent gave evidence that the decision to terminate the applicant’s employment was for cost-cutting reasons and had nothing to do with her maternity leave. This evidence was supported by contemporaneous documents and was consistent with other evidence in the case. The substantive and operative test was applied and the Court found that the applicant was not dismissed for a proscribed reason.