Serious Misconduct in the Workplace
Under the National Employment Standards, if Serious Misconduct occurs an employer can terminate the employment relationship immediately. However, employers must be certain of the facts before they take action.
Our experienced team can look at the case and help you make a determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence to support termination of the worker’s employment for Serious Misconduct. We can further advise you on correct procedures for dismissal to ensure your decisions cannot be challenged down the track.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (cth) defines Serious Misconduct as willful or deliberate behaviour by an employee that is inconsistent with the continuation of the contract of employment and causes serious and imminent risk to the health and safety of a person or the reputation, viability or profitability of the employer’s business.
Serious Misconduct can include acts of theft, fraud or assault, being intoxicated in the workplace or refusing to carry out lawful and reasonable instruction that is part of the employee’s contract of employment.
Before deciding that an employee has engaged in activities or behaviours that would constitute Serious Misconduct, it is important to know the definition of Serious Misconduct as prescribed by the Act and to investigate thoroughly before making a decision to terminate a person’s employment.