Procedural Fairness

Procedural Fairness

Following the correct procedure when terminating an employee is extremely important. A recent case further emphasised this when the Fair Work Commission said:

“On the basis of the text messages an employee had sent about the Company and his managers, these  contravened the Corporation’s code of conduct, and the commission found because of the employee’s use of social media and text messaging was deliberate, his actions had amounted to wilful misconduct and that the Corporation had a valid reason for dismissing him.”

So far so good. The company had a valid reason to terminate but what they did next cost them money and time.

The commission found that the way the employee was sacked was procedurally unfair, as he was given less than 24 hours notice to provide a written response to the allegations. This is considered unreasonable, and as such, the company had to pay the employee six weeks’ pay. This payout could have been avoided had the company not “ rushed” its decision to terminate the employee, and instead followed the due process.

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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