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Unfair dismissal claims on the up, and employees are winning

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HC Online | 20 Mar 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
More employee unfair dismissal claims are being upheld by Fair Work than ever before. So is the system broken?
  • Maureen | 20 Mar 2012, 03:17 PM Agree 0
    In relation to Unfair Dismissal claims - I don't believe the system is broken, I think that employers need to be much more careful and HR needs to be more active in their workplaces. Many decisions I read say that the company had dedicated HR specialists but they weren't used by the decision maker to assist with the termination process.
    HR, it's time time to speak up!
  • Peter Scullin Director Health Link Consultants | 20 Mar 2012, 03:23 PM Agree 0
    The attached HC Online article on unfair dismissals provides living proof that the Gillard Government just don't get it when it comes to workplace relations. Until the so called "Fair Work Act is amended or replaced the current unfair dismissal arrangements can only lead to more & more SME employers not recruiting or replacing employees.
  • Russell; Give Life Center | 20 Mar 2012, 04:08 PM Agree 0
    Interesting article but not unexpected, I don't think it has much to do with Work Choices or previous Workplace Relations Acts as such. I would hazard a guess that it comes down more to people make haphazard decisions in relation to their employee's. If you fire someone without consideration of what you have done to prepare them for their role or without giving people opportunity to correct their behaviour then you deserve to be brought to account. H.R. is about using a resource, that being humans, people need to be treated fairly, if you dont do this then you might wind up being accused of being unfair in your dismissal.
    If you dont want to be unfair in your dismissal of an employee, spend time, ensure that they have been given the opportunity to improve, if they cant then reassess your employment practices such as recruitment. There are enough good potential employees out there that you can ensure you have the right one, don't blame them when you choose the wrong one.
  • Darren; HR2You | 21 Mar 2012, 09:19 AM Agree 0
    Employers are being bitten because in general they have no idea about the rules and are just plain bad managers of people. All the info is just a click or a call away for employees and employers are being called to account. It's not hard for employers to hire, manage and fire staff the right way. What many employers don't realise is if they do it the right way - their staff will appreciate them a little more...
  • Bernie Althofer | 21 Mar 2012, 04:21 PM Agree 0
    The world in relation to employment law and industrial relations is constantly changing. Various Courts, Commissions and Tribunals are making decisions or findings that impact on both employers and employees.
    It might well be the case that organisational systems and processes are not keeping up to speed with those decisions.
    SMEs may not have invested heavily in HR functions and may have outsourced this area. Just as systems and processes need to be continually reviewed and updated, line managers and supervisors who may be at the fore front of making decisions that have employment or industrial implications, it is also important to ensure that these people have currency of knowledge. Putting all the focus and expectation onto HR and saying that they should do more, might not be beneficial. HR might well be used to find solutions or to 'act' for the organisation. HR can be a great resource, but like line managers and supervisors, they too need to have currency of knowledge.
    Some time ago I spoke with a senior manager about how he spent his time. He indicated that 90% of his time was spent fixing HR or industrial issues caused by decisions made by middle managers. When asked why they weren't being trained, the response indicated that the middle managers were rewarded for operational management, not people management. Getting the balance right can be difficult if just one part of the system or process is addressed.

    Whether people like it or not, the world is going to keep changing in relation to employment law and industrial relations. It is important to maintain currency of knowledge regarding those changes, and it is important that a system or process be in place to ensure there is transfer of that knowledge to line managers and supervisors who are often in the position of making decisions about an employees career.
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