A recent Fair Work Commission case highlights the importance of a procedurally fair performance management process in finding an employee’s dismissal for repeated lateness was fair.
Mr Rooney was employed as a car detailer. As a result of repeatedly arriving late to work without any reasonable excuse over a 6 month period he was issued with a number of formal warnings for lateness, including written warnings.
In June 2015, the employee slept through his alarm and arrived at work over an hour late. The employer met with him that afternoon and discussed his poor attendance and lack of punctuality. The employer adjourned the meeting to consider the previous written warnings provided to the employee, the verbal warnings provided and the employee’s response.
The employer then dismissed the employee by providing a letter setting out the reasons for the dismissal and 4 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice.
The employee brought an unfair dismissal application, alleging that the termination of his employment was unfair. The Fair Work Commission found that the dismissal was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable and praised the employer’s measured and procedurally fair process adopted in performance managing the employee and ultimately terminating his employment.
Key lesson for employers
Employers who adopt a procedurally fair process prior to dismissing employees are placed in a stronger position when defending an unfair dismissal claim.
Do you have a difficult employee whose performance repeatedly disappoints you?
Contact HR Legal to discuss the best strategy for implementing a procedurally fair performance management process or implementation of other disciplinary measures such as warnings and termination, whilst managing the legal risks.
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