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Qantas – ‘True Spirit of Australia’

Unfair DismissalSeptember 29, 2014

Qantas – ‘True Spirit of Australia’ (Last Updated On: September 29, 2014)

A Qantas employee has been sacked after failing to change her notorious drinking habits. The air hostess, who did not instil the Qantas brand of being an admirable and safe employee, jeopardised the image of the Aussie icon. The employee had a history of alcohol related problems where she continuously turned up to the airport intoxicated.

Qantas has spent years in attempt to help their employee overcome alcoholism by conducting drug and alcohol testing, placing her on wellbeing programs and return to work interviews. However a further incident occurred where Qantas terminated her employment. The incident occurred in Los Angeles where the air hostess was to take a 24 hour stop over before returning to the airport. This allocated ‘slip time’ is a period where the employee is to get adequate rest and not engage in activities where increased illness or injury could result. The employee was several hours late for work, had missed her flight and had a positive alcohol reading of 0.117.

When the termination occurred she had apologised and requested extended leave to seek treatment at a rehabilitation centre. These requests lead to the hostess filing for unfair dismissal. However the case was won by Qantas who had followed the correct procedures in the previous years and had conducted numerous programs to allow the hostess to remain employed.

Qantas successfully terminated the employee because they had enforced formal warnings and outlined to the employee that she had breached Qantas’s code of conduct and their drug and alcohol policies. The trust was lost between employer and employee. Her responsibilities in a safety-critical role could not be fulfilled and this resulted in her rightful termination.

A key point to this case is that the employee was responding to Qantas’s disciplinary procedures, she was fully aware of her standing alcohol problem and its implication on her role and her job security. If you would like to ensure that you have the ability to communicate employee expectations and work policies and procedures with your staff call Employsure today on 1300 651 415. We can support you with the best practices in order to avoid problems with your staff so that you can protect your brand and maintain trust between you and your employees.

*Information sourced via The Smart Company and The Workplace Express website.

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