In Boguslaw Bienias v Iplex Pipelines Australia, a team leader failed to show up to work for a fortnight. During his absence, Iplex attempted to contact the employee by phone, in writing, and even arranged for the police to conduct a welfare check on him. The employee did not respond. As a result of this case’s decision, the FWC announced that it will review abandonment clauses in all modern awards.
Madelaine August of Moray & Agnew provides us with informative answers to questions regarding procedural fairness. She cites the Bonny Walia v Citywide Service Solutions case, where a garbage truck driver was reinstated to his position by the FWC due to issues with the employer’s decision making steps.
Jim Roberts of Hesketh Henry reminds us in this article that “while some incidents might be so flagrant or reckless and easily evidenced (for example by security footage) that they appear to justify termination on the spot, it is important that the alleged behaviour is properly investigated and a lawful process is carried out.”
Derogatory comments on social media can be a valid reason to terminate an employee’s employment, but a fair process must still be followed to avoid an unfair dismissal ruling. Allens’ Senior Associate Tristan Garcia and Lawyer Jo Seto report on a recent decision of the FWC.
Employees are sometimes accused of abandoning their employment. The employee may have simply disappeared. Other times, the employee remains in contact but, perhaps because of an (alleged) injury or illness, refuses or fails to attend at work. Where is the line drawn between temporary absence and abandonment and, in any case, how should an employer deal with it?
Nathan Luke reminds us that “if you have certain expectations of your employees regarding appearance, you should have a clear, written policy setting out the relevant rules. This policy should be clearly articulated to employees before they accept the job.” Read more here.
Whilst the “employment contract” topic has been explored many times before, Page Seager provide us with an article that emphasises the drafting of an ‘employer friendly’ document. Read these case examples and five handy reminders.
Kott Gunning educates us on the topic of constructive dismissal… “it occurs when the conduct of the employer was so “harmful, adverse or unfriendly to” the contract of employment and the employment relationship that the employee could not be expected to put up with it”.
“Approaching performance management in a considered way that is clearly communicated and documented… will minimise the risk of claims,” writes the MDC Legal team and MDEB Perth workshop facilitators, “and if claims are made the employer will be better placed to defend them”.
In Aug 2014 he resigned and was directed to go on gardening leave for the duration of his four week notice period.