Terminations: you must interview a worker accused of misconduct

Terminations: you must interview a worker accused of misconduct

We have stated all along the need to conduct investigations in a procedural, fair way. And here is another example that has only served to reinforce this position.

In this recent case, Fair Work Commission stated an employer cannot claim to have fairly investigated an employee’s alleged misconduct if they fail to interview them.

The company argued its disciplinary procedures didn’t require it to conduct an interview.

But Fair Work Commissioner stated while the disciplinary processes did not “explicitly state” that an employee subject to allegations would be interviewed as part of a fair investigation, “it is clearly implied in the procedural factors which guide the investigation”.

Investigators would not be able to base recommendations for disciplinary action on all available information if the employee in question is not asked for their account and employees would also be denied the opportunity to respond to allegations and raise any other issues that might require investigation.

Summary: Once again the procedures recommended by HR Central have been shown to be the procedures of  the Fair Work Commission expect an employer to follow – no matter what the circumstances.


Michael O'Shaughnessy

Michael is a specialist in all things HR. With vast HR experience in the USA and Australia, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and advice to HR Central. When he's not blogging for HR Central you can find him out for dinner in one of Melbourne's newest restaurants.

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