IR – Managing poor performance & misconduct


When employers choose to fire an employee without ensuring a suitable and procedurally fair procedure was adopted employers can expose themselves to legal risks, warns Managing Director of Labour Solutions Australia, Andrew Northcott.

Managing poor performance

Northcott, clarifies that when an individual is under performing, they should be told that their functionality isn’t up to scratch; they should be told what must improve, as well as how they really can improve it; and then they will have to get provided a decent time frame to improve. Additionally they must understand what might occur when they don’t enhance.

Supervisors must be conscious, if a distinct performance problem is identified after however, the simple fact that a man is subject to performance management within the past might not warrant a dismissal. “For example, an employee that’s performance managed for poor telephone mode, and improves, may not always be dismissed since they’ve made an error in dispatch of stock to an individual. Each case should be evaluated on its facts.”

Where an employee is finally dismissed for poor performance, an employer should demonstrate a performance management concern is increased, the employee has failed to enhance within the area needed despite being given the chance to do this, or in certain cases, demonstrate the employee has refused to engage in a performance management process, Northcott says.

Dismissals for misconduct

Conductbased dismissals need a distinct procedure to ensure procedural fairness, Northcott.

“An employer is anticipated to make appropriate queries and properly investigate such allegations,” he says.

“The allegations should be set to the employee in adequate detail to enable the employee to react to them and provide their particular explanation concerning the alleged actions. The company must then determine what disciplinary actions, if any, is proper within the conditions. This all needs to happen before any final decision is made about whether the right actions to take in the conditions is dismissal.”

The procedure becomes much harder when dealing with behavioural and <>attitudinal problems, he says.


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Labour Solutions Australia Pty Ltd specialises in temporary, permanent and outsourced workforce solutions with a strong focus on Food Processing, Civil and Building Construction, Mining and Engineering, Transport and Logistics, Manufacturing and Agribusiness staffing needs.

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