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Swearing And Swearing To Stop

Published September 03, 2014 (last updated June 17, 2020) -
Employees Swearing At Each Other

Is there a difference between swearing in the workplace and swearing at a colleague?

Employers and employees who swear and use foul language in the workplace are playing with serious misconduct.

A mechanical instructor was dismissed from Scientific Management Associates (SMA) which is Australia’s largest and most successful independent Integrated Logistics Support services company. The instructor swore and used violent body language as he slammed his timesheet on the desk of his manager. The employer dismissed the employee because he became concerned for his own safety and felt threatened by the verbal abuse.

The instructor filed for unfair dismissal claiming that he was suffering from anxiety, he blamed the manager for his outburst because he was putting a large amount of pressure on him to perform his duties.

The Fair Work Commission responded and acknowledged that there is a qualitative difference between swearing in the workplace and swearing at a colleague. The worker’s behaviour constituted misconduct; and, consequently, his dismissal was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

Employers should set an example for the behaviour which is expected in the place of work. By setting a standard employees know what is expected of them. A particular workplace culture can jeopardise the expectation and behaviours of staff. To ensure that your business is setting the right example for employees be sure to implement behavioural standards and safeguard behavioural policies and procedures.

If you would like to discuss the outcomes of implementing these safeguards in your business to ensure swearing and foul behaviour is eliminated from your workplace call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.

*Information sourced via the Workplace Info website.

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