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.
The MDC Legal team remind employees and employers alike, that “there are strict time limits for making an unfair dismissal claim. An employee has 21 days from the date of dismissal to make a claim under the national system and 28 days under the [WA] state system.”
“Employers should implement a clear workplace policy in relation to discrimination and the standard of conduct it requires from its employees and any other persons at the workplace. However, it’s not enough to simply have a policy in place,” writes Joanna Knoth of MDC Legal.
“Employers can minimise their risk of harm to reputation and brand and risk of vicarious liability for an employee’s out of hours behaviour, by having a suitable workplace code of conduct and social media policy…,” writes Noella Silby of MDC Legal.
“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”.