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When it’s wrong, employers don’t always get it right

Unfair DismissalSeptember 3, 2015

When it’s wrong, employers don’t always get it right (Last Updated On: August 9, 2016)

An employee at Melbourne’s Asia Pacific International College, who went on an email tirade berating the company’s IT department, has won his unfair dismissal case.

Dr Ian Horgan was employed by Asia Pacific International College (APIC) as a full time course coordinator between March and October last year. The Fair Work Commission heard that the principal of APIC, Dr Ali Jaafari, emailed Dr Horgan extensively throughout his seven months of employment as he was concerned with Dr Horgan’s attitude towards other staff.

The Commission heard that Dr Horgan had been issued a warning for his frequent insults towards colleagues and his bad mouthing of APIC college. The most incriminating being Dr Horgan’s emails to the IT department where he complained of their abilities and claimed he was ‘fed up with fielding IT related issues from students’.

APIC alleged Horgan’s other communications via email with staff and students were also inappropriate and disrespectful.

Fair Work Commissioner Julius Roe agreed, saying Horgan had been warned and counselled about the matter and he was satisfied the behaviour was not acceptable. Roe stated that since Dr Hogan’s behaviour was repeated that it constituted misconduct and as such was a valid reason for dismissal.

However, although there was valid reasons for Dr Horgan’s dismissal, Commissioner Roe ruled that the dismissal was unfair due to Dr Horgan not being advised of the reasons for his termination and therefore was not given the opportunity to respond to them.

Dr Horgan was awarded a total of four weeks’ pay in compensation for the dismissal.

Employers need to ensure they follow the correct procedures when terminating staff. Even though APIC had a valid reason for the termination of Dr Horgan’s employment they did not follow a fair process and give the employee a chance to respond. Employsure can advise on correct procedures for terminating of staff so give us a call today on 1300 651 415.

 Sourced via Smart Company

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