Procedural Fairness


Do you know what is fair and reasonable in the workplace?


When an issue arises in the workplace, it can be easy to get ahead of yourself and make rash decisions. So how do you ensure procedural fairness for all individuals involved?


What is procedural fairness?

Procedural fairness is associated with the decision-maker, and ensures that all the correct steps have been taken to ensure a fair and proper decision-making process. A decision-maker who follows all the correct steps is more likely to reach a fair outcome for all the parties involved.

When is procedural fairness necessary?

Procedural fairness must take place in any decision made within a company, however is more likely to be needed when discussing the performance improvement or termination of an employee. The rules of procedural fairness require:

  • Lack of bias
  • Evidence to support the decision
  • Inquiry into matters of dispute

The individual involved must be given the opportunity to reply and for their reply to be received and considered before action is taken. You must also ensure that the individual involved has received all relevant information before their reply is prepared.

What happens when procedural fairness is not followed?

If you do not follow the correct steps when dealing with issues in your company, you could be faced with a hefty fine, and may have to reinstate an unfairly dismissed employee.

One example of this would be a recent Fair Work Commission case. In the case R v Auto Classic (WA) Pty Ltd [2016] the employer was ordered to pay compensation of $25,341 to the employee after failing to adhere to procedural fairness. It was found that the employer did not provide sufficient evidence to the employee, nor did they give the employee enough time to respond to the dismissal.

Remember, following procedural fairness could be the difference between a successful disciplinary process and an unfair dismissal case. Ensuring that your employees have a fair and reasonable process will prevent unnecessary disputes in the future.

For more information on procedural fairness, contact us on 9316 9896 or


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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.