Unfair Dismissal Upheld – Disproportionate Punishment

Unfair Dismissal Upheld – Disproportionate Punishment

The Fair Work Commission recently reinstated a forklift driver, ruling his summary dismissal for two safety breaches was disproportionate, and citing his age, his inability to find other work and status as primary carer for his sick wife as relevant considerations.

He was terminated after an OHS investigation revealed that he hadn’t properly locked out a trailer door as required by the company’s safety policy when he was cleaning spilt milk. The FWC stated “In all the circumstances, there were lesser punishments open to which would have been appropriate,”

The FWC ordered the forklift driver to be reinstated and said the company could “have confidence” that the he would adhere to its safety policies in the future and said “I am sure that he has learnt his lesson and will be more careful in the future”.

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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