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Adverse ActionJune 3, 2016
Adverse action is a term which all employers would have heard at some point. Yet, how many actually know what is considered adverse action and how do you minimise your chances of facing a claim?
Adverse action is an action taken by an employer which is considered unlawful under the Fair Work Act 2009. These actions can include, but are not limited to:
Adverse action is especially tricky as it is so open for interpretation. To put it simple we use the following example: if a manager brought four coffees for his team, yet had five members of staff, this could be considered adverse action as the fifth member of the team experienced a loss.
For employers adverse action claims are highly significant as they:
In order to minimise the risk of adverse action claims, employers must be very open and clear regarding the reasoning for why they are taking action against the worker. The reason needs to be related to the worker’s conduct or performance, with the employer being able to adequately prove this conduct actually occurred.
Employers should ensure they keep clear documentation of the reason for and why the action was taken. This way if an adverse action claim is made, employers can prove the action was taken for the right reasons and not due to an employee exercising a workplace right.
Every workplace should have fair and consistent policies and procedures in place which is communicated to all employees when they commence their employment. These should also be included in your employee handbook stipulating when and why an action may be taken against an employee.