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Rule Breaker Wins Unfair Dismissal Case

Published May 22, 2014 (last updated June 25, 2020) -
Unfair Dismissal Case

A sacked employee who failed to follow company policy and demonstrated poor performance has won his unfair dismissal case.

The employee was a long serving steel worker with BlueScope Steel. In 2012, the employee breached one of the company’s critical safety procedures which the company investigated and acted on by issuing a first and final written warning.

The warning advised that any future breach of critical operating procedures, operational negligence, wilful misconduct or behaviour of a similar kind may lead to further disciplinary action, which may include termination of his employment.

In 2013, the employee was then found responsible for a significant incident where a scrap jam occurred on a conveyor. The worker’s duty was to monitor the conveyor on a regular basis from a control room during a night shift.

The incident caused more than two hours delay in production and cost the company almost $140,000. The employee was dismissed for continued poor performance.

The employee lodged an unfair dismissal claim to the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The dismissal was ruled unfair as the worker had not been disciplined in 35 years of employment for poor operational performance and the final warning was consequently not fair.

The FWC also considered the severe impact the dismissal caused him and his family.

The employee was awarded compensation set at 16 weeks of pay.

*Information sourced via WorkplaceInfo.

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