The Fair Work Commission has ruled that an employee who refused to engage in a performance improvement plan, was validly dismissed.

During a probation review meeting, the employee was told that his performance needed to improve and was provided with details of various shortcomings with his work and unprofessional interactions with co-workers. The employee repeatedly refused to sign a performance review form and agree to a performance improvement plan because he believed his performance was “good enough”.

His employment contract specified a pay increase upon satisfactory completion of probation. The employee was advised that the pay increase he was due to receive on completion of his probation would not be granted until he agreed to the performance improvement plan.  He still refused to engage in the plan because he believed that the employer would use the documents to deny him the pay increase. The employee also accused HR of victimising him and his colleagues of bullying him. He was dismissed two weeks later.

The employee appealed to the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal.  The Fair Work Commission upheld the dismissal based on the employer having followed a procedurally fair process to address the performance issues, and substantial evidence provided by the employer of the employee’s unsatisfactory performance.

This case highlights the importance of an employer following procedurally fair processes when taking disciplinary action against an employee, and before the termination of employment.  

If you require assistance with managing employee performance or taking disciplinary action against an employee, do not hesitate to contact ProcessWorx directly on (08) 9316 9896 or

For more information about unfair dismissals see our blog post here.

Written By Danielle McNamee


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