Ultra Tune had a valid reason to dismiss a training manager for refusing to perform his role however, errors in its dismissal process forced them to payout $9,583 for unfair dismissal.

The employee was hired as a national training manager, he was required to develop a software program for franchisees and train them how to use it face to face. However, when launched the program was inundated with problems and Ultra Tune spent more than half a million dollars to fix it. To do so they hired a consultant as head of IT, expecting the training manager to become more involved with training delivery and helping franchisees transition.

The employee was not pleased with this change and told the managing director he disliked contact with franchisees and did not want to perform the role. Ultra Tune claimed it discussed other roles with him but could not come up with a suitable role, so dismissed him.

Although it had valid reasons for dismissing the employee, his contribution to the failed IT program and refusal to train franchisees, it was done unfairly. Ultra Tune failed to follow procedural fairness including:

  • The discussion referred to was only general and was not a serious attempt to find the employee another role.
  • Ultra Tune didn’t warn the employee about his poor performance.
  • Allegations of poor performance were not made aware to the employee and he did not have the opportunity to respond.
  • Ultra Tune had access to HR expertise to advise them of the correct process.

Reinstatement was not feasible; therefore the Fair Work Commission determined a fair dismissal would have lasted one month longer so ordered he be compensated pay for that period, a total of $9,583.

This reinforces the importance of following procedural fairness when dismissing employees to avoid similar decisions. If you require assistance with procedural fairness or performance managing employees contact ProcessWorx on (08) 9316 9896 or enquiries@processworx.com.au

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Written by Danielle McNamee

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