The Fair Work Commission has underlined a car manufacturer’s “astounding” lack of HR specialists and has found the company to have unfairly dismissed a service advisor for not meeting customer survey score standards.
Fair Work Commissioner Jennifer Hunt heard that in May 2017, the employee began working at Audi Indooroopilly where his responsibilities included “greeting customers, providing quotes, liaising with technicians and taking payments,” according to Workplace Express.
The base salary for the service advisor was $47,000 plus super, and a commission of no more than one per cent a month if the employee met the targets that were linked to customer satisfaction ratings.
At the centre of the dismissal was an Audi Australia survey that provides customer feedback in regards to their experience at the dealerships, and measures the performance of its service providers.
A score above 4.5 out of five for the five-question survey, which ranked the customer service employee’s Customer Experience Marker, from one (worst) to five (best), entitled employees to a bonus of up to $600 for that month.
The service advisor’s scores ranged between 4.1 and 4.5 and in February this year, Audi Indooroopilly issued the employee with a first and final warning in regards to his results, notifying him that he was in the bottom half of service advisors in Audi Australia.
The employee protested that relying on the optional customer survey to measure someone’s performance was not something that Audi Indooroopilly should have relied on and noted it in his unfair dismissal claim.
The Commissioner agreed with the employee and acknowledged the “inherent unfairness” of the situation.
“Simply because an employee slips into the bottom half of all [Audi Australia] service advisors, it does not mean that they are not performing their role satisfactorily,” Commissioner Hunt said according to Workplace Express.
“If this was, as I understand it to be, a position supported by Audi Australia given the (service advisor’s) termination letter was prepared by the central HR support person, and the submissions supported by Audi Australia during the determinative conference, it could have the effect of the bottom half of service advisors within Audi Australia being considered to be performing unsatisfactorily.
“Instead of endeavouring to bring up the levels of service, it was determined that being in the bottom half of all service advisors was unacceptable, despite mathematically, half of the service advisors having to fall within the bottom half of all service advisors,” Commissioner Hunt said.
The Commissioner also found that the service advisor was not given the opportunity to respond to the reason for his termination and in finding the dismissal claim unfair, ordered Audi Indooroopilly to pay the service advisor $9134 plus super.