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Policies, Procedures & SafeguardsNovember 4, 2015
A NBN Co former employee has had his unfair dismissal case dismissed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) after his employment was terminated for refusing to pay back thousands of dollars’ worth of personal calls made on his work mobile.
The applicant was found to have made close to $22,630 in international calls on his company issued mobile. When the worker was informed of the costs, he apologised to his manager and claimed that phone calls were to family members in India.
NBN Co issued the applicant with a warning letter regarding the misuse of his company phone and requested that he repay the outstanding amount.
The FWC heard the applicant advised NBN Co he could not afford to repay the lump sum of phone bills. He also refused to enter into a payment plan offered by the company that would see the outstanding amount repaid by February 2016. The applicant also argued that NBN Co’s phone policy was not easily accessible for all employees.
After a series of meetings where NBN Co once again offered the applicant the option of a payment plan which the applicant refused, he was informed his employment would be terminated.
Fair Work Commissioner Anne Gooley ruled that whilst the existence of the debt was not a valid enough reason for NBN Co to terminate the employee, there was no reasonable justification for the applicant to dispute the debt. Therefore it was unreasonable for him to not agree to enter into a payment plan to repay the money owed to the company. As such, his application for unfair dismissal was dismissed.
Employers must ensure that all policies and procedures are explained in clear detail to all employees. These policies must be accessible and easy to read. If employers do not have a phone policy in place that all employees are aware of, it can be extremely difficult to use the policy as a defense against blatant misuse of company devices. Employsure can advise on the best way to implement phone policies, and any other policy into your workplace. Call us today on 1300 651 415.
Sourced via Smart Company