A recent Fair Work Commission decision provides a good example of how an investigation process can become unfocussed and consequently the employer’s decision-making is then flawed. Good training and education will help employers to manage employees more effectively and to focus investigations on the relevant issues.
A Director of Nursing at an aged care facility made an application for unfair dismissal, which was upheld by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and over $75,000 was awarded in compensation for wages and superannuation.
Mrs Angelika Adamopoulos v Thompson Healthcare Pty Ltd t/a Thompson Health Care  FWC 3505.1
The key points from the case highlight the risks associated with the management of employee performance and behaviour, and the employer’s lack of knowledge around absenteeism, bullying & harassment, investigations and procedural fairness. The FWC found:
• the allegations of misconduct were not substantiated;
• there had been collusion between senior nursing staff;
• the allegations of poor performance were not sufficiently made out;
• a reasonable opportunity to respond was not provided; and
• the weight of evidence did not justify dismissal, therefore there was no valid reason for dismissal.
What are you doing to educate your staff, improve management and reduce the risk in your business?
EMA Consulting are industrial relations experts and act exclusively for employers. Our training courses have been developed on the fundamental basis of compliance with workplace laws.
The principal objectives of our training courses are to teach business owners, leaders, managers and practitioners practical skills and knowledge, which can then be applied with confidence upon their return to the workplace.
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1 Mrs Angelika Adamopoulos v Thompson Healthcare Pty Ltd t/a Thompson Health Care  FWC 3505