Termination of Employment
There may be a number of legitimate reasons why an employer may need to terminate an employee i.e. the role is no longer needed, the employee has failed to perform at the required standard. Whatever the situation, an employer must make sure that they have complied with the relevant terms in the employment contract signed by the employee, any additional employment policies, any modern awards regulating the industry, national employment standards and legislation. For example, if you have identified an employee that is underperforming, you should firstly assess and analyse the problem i.e. how serious is the problem, how long has it existed and how wide is the gap between what is expected and what is being delivered. Next, you should arrange a private meeting with the employee and clearly explain the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the problem so that they can adequately prepare for the meeting. The employee should also be notified that they have the option of bringing a support person, whether it is a family member or a union representative. Where it is possible, after the problem has been discussed, it is important to jointly come up with a solution with the employee including a clear plan of action that will help the employee reach the required standards of their role. A date for a further meeting to review the progress of the employee's performance should also be set as part of the action plan. There should be further meetings to discuss performance before termination would be seen to be a reasonable outcome. These meetings and action taken by the employer to address the issues would help the employer from the Fair Work Commission ruling in favour of the employee in any possible unfair dismissal claim. If you would like to discuss this or other issues that might arise in the context of your business or organisation, please contact our Employment Law team.