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Important Information: Woolworths operating changes

Woolworths Announces Operating Changes
Woolworths has announced and started discussing with team members a restructure of the store operating model for Woolworths Supermarkets nationally. Some members have contacted the SDA about the proposed changes to the store operating model after they have had discussions with their local managers about the proposed changes.

The restructure announced yesterday appears to be based on a trial undertaken in stores in Zone 3 in March this year. The SDA actively represented our members who were affected by the trial in Zone 3.

The SDA’s focus in this restructure will be on protecting members’ ongoing employment and minimising the impact of any changes on our members.

SDA Members Have Our Support
All SDA members have our full support.

SDA members are advised not to rush any decision as there will need to be a lot of consultation and discussions with Woolworths on these proposed changes to minimise the impact on members.

The SDA is with you at work to support our members.

SDA will seek discussions on the new store operating model
The SDA NSW Branch has been involved in representing members in Zone 3 who have been through similar changes. We will seek discussions with Woolworths on the changes announced yesterday.

Based on our experience in Zone 3 please read the below information
In Zone 3 the new operating model impacted on a number of roles, including the following:

  • Assistant Store Manager (ASM) – (small stores only)
  • Deli / Seafood Manager
  • Deli / Seafood Team Support
  • Duty Manager
  • Head Reserve Stockhand
  • Inventory Manager
  • Inventory Team Support
  • Longlife Team Manager – (small stores only)
  • Merchandising Team Support
  • Seafood Team Manager
  • Seafood Team Support
  • Store Services Officer (SSO)

Some team members in other roles may be also impacted.

Some of these roles were consolidated into new roles. The names of some roles will change, and some of the roles (eg Duty Manager) will no longer exist.

We understand that all impacted team members have been advised and asked to reapply for a new position.

Existing Team Members To Get Preference
Woolworths have made it clear that existing team members will get preference for any new roles.

The SDA encourages all members to apply for a new role. Our priority is to secure ongoing employment for SDA members.

Members do not have to put in a detailed application or CV to be part of the application process. Application is made through Success Factors, and you can select a number of positions you are interested in.

In assessing applicants for positions Woolworths will:

  • use an online quiz tool;
  • Have an interview with the applicants; and
  • Review your past work performance appraisals

In the Zone 3 process Woolworths said they wanted a fair process, so if members have any concerns about bias and want your interview to be conducted by a different manager to your current store manager you can request a different interviewer.

Where a team member is not successful in obtaining a new role, Woolworths will seek to redeploy the team member to another role. Redundancies will only be considered as a last option, where no other opportunity is available.

In cases where a Team Member is considering accepting a different role of a position with a lower rate of pay you should contact the SDA to discuss what impact this will have on you. We can then discuss with you and Woolworths what conditions will apply to your new role or whether Woolworths should pay you a partial redundancy.

It is important that any SDA member impacted by the change to their role contact the SDA for advice and assistance.

SDA Raising Concerns on Behalf Of Members
The SDA’s position is that where a Team Member is not successful in applying for a new role, redeployment should be the primary focus, with redundancy being available only at the Team Member’s request, or where redeployment is not available.

While the SDA welcomes the approach of Woolworths Supermarkets to find alternative employment for employees to ensure continuing employment, the SDA’s position is that it must be alternative employment which is acceptable to employees.

Employees must not feel pressured to take a role for which they are not suited.

The SDA will engage Woolworths to work through all issues on behalf of affected SDA members.

Advice on Redundancy
If members are considering taking a redundancy they should contact their local SDA Branch to check their entitlements. Some members may also wish to contact REST Superannuation for information on 1300 300 778.

At Work With You
As members go through this difficult process the SDA will be at work with you. We are only a phone call away to provide support and assistance.

Remember, SDA advice and representation is for SDA members only.


Find your local SDA Branch here.