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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