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Dismissing the heat of the moment

Unfair DismissalAugust 27, 2015

Dismissing the heat of the moment (Last Updated On: August 9, 2016)

An employee has won his unfair dismissal case after his manager told him in the heat of an argument not to bother coming back to work on Monday.

Mr Townsend was employed as a driver for a small family business run by Mr Cooke. At Mr Cooke’s insistence,  Mr Townsend had come into work whilst on annual leave to set up a new truck. Mr Townsend was resentful about being called into work and having his annual leave disrupted which sparked an argument with his manager. Mr Cook allegedly raged at Mr Townsend and told him “Get out of the yard and don’t bother coming back on Monday.”

Mr Townsend took this as a dismissal and left the workplace. Mr Cooke made no attempts to contact Mr Townsend and a few week later sent him his termination certificate. Mr Townsend claimed unfair dismissal, whilst his employer argued that he resigned.

The Employment Tribunal found that Mr Townsend’s employer was guilty of unfairly dismissing Townsend. The Tribunal found that there was a total failure to adopt any sort of fair procedure.

To avoid a claim for unfair dismissal, an employer must show that they have a valid reason for the termination and that they followed a fair process in relation to the termination. In this case an employee successfully claimed unfair dismissal because his termination was harsh, unjust and unreasonable. His employer failed to hold a disciplinary meeting and the employee did not have the opportunity to argue his case.

Employsure can advise on the correct policies and procedures for terminating employees, constructing a performance management plan or conducting workplace investigations. Call us today on 1300 651 415 to discuss your options and to speak to a workplace relations expert.

Sourced via Personnel Today

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