Case Study: Qantas Airways Ltd v Arnott A Qantas flight attendant had flown from Sydney and was on “slip time” in a designated hotel...
Celebrity Apprentice Australia is now in its fourth season and yes, we know it is purely for entertainment, but just imagine if all employers conducted themselves like Mark Bouris. In no uncertain terms, Mr Bouris is the boss from hell. He deliberately raises tensions by pitting contestants against one another, and encourages conflicts amongst ‘colleagues’.
The show has turned some heads as a result of its outlandish challenges. If you are unaware, contestants compete in sales, marketing and business strategy competitions with very limited training, where the loser ultimately gets fired. The juxtaposition between the reality show and real life is very different and the show really touches some huge employment issues…
Can you instantly fire an apprentice?
An apprenticeship is an agreement between a qualified tradesman and a trainee, the employment type is one of education and support, with the aim to become qualified in the chosen field.
An apprentice can only be terminated when a mutual agreement from both the employer and apprentice is made. Something Bouris certainly fails to adhere to.
Sexual harassment – “Sophie Monk is a dumb blond”
Sophie Monk has experienced an astonishing amount of backlash from fellow competitors and the public who dismissed the 35-year-old former girl band member as just a ‘dumb blonde’.
The show has used this stereotype as a selling point and openly encouraged bullying within the workplace. Although this could make for great television, behaviour such as this is a breach in a bullying and harassment policy where all employees should be protected from being victimised.
An employee can only be summarily dismissed (instantly dismissed) if serious misconduct has occurred. Even then the employer must take reasonable steps in order to dismiss the employee to ensure the dismissal isn’t deemed as unfair, unjust or unreasonable.
Unless new legislation has passed that deems outrageously laree jackets like those worn by Geoffrey Edelsten’s, as serious misconduct, these contestants are unfairly dismissed.
Sick leave/adverse action
Reality star Gina Liano was forced to leave the show after being hospitalised for four days. She contracted a potentially life threatening virus from another contestant or ‘colleague’. However when she raise concerns of her illness with her boss (Bouris) he was dismissive and disrespectful, making him guilty of adverse action – discriminating against his employee due to her illness.
If an employer is found guilty of adverse action (such as the dismissal of an employee due to illness) they can face court.
Social media policies
The show does not have any social media policies in place to protect their employees and the company’s brand. This was made apparent when Mel Greig was called a murderer by one of her colleagues via twitter.
Mel Greig was a radio presenter known for that infamous prank call that went horribly wrong and resulted in a woman committing suicide.
Richard Reid is the workplace’s gossip monger and retweeted a demeaning post about his colleague which read:
“Not really happy about a Murderer @MelGreigRadio being on Celebrity Apprentice, so I am out, your (sic) fired Mel Greig #CelebrityApprenticeAU”
The Celebrity Apprentice has made a lot of money by entertaining Australia with a show rife with workplace relation issues. In real life however, Mark Bouris would be in a lot of trouble.
The wrongdoings of Bouris are crystal clear but if there is something concerning you in your workplace, Employsure can help. Call us today on 1300 651 415 to discuss with trained professionals.