Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety Principal, Anthony Massaro, has been quoted in The Age on a decision by the Fair Work Commission involving a dismissal by email. The Deputy President found that the dismissal was fair but the method was “unnecessarily callous”.
Having determined that an employee had engaged in serious misconduct, the employer decided to dismiss her by email rather than bring her in for a face to face meeting. The Commission considered that there had been a valid reason for the dismissal and a fair process, but criticised the practice of dismissing employees via email.
Anthony said: “in slightly different circumstances the method of termination could have swung the case."
He went on to discuss the fact that while employees often communicate their resignation informally, employers need to be careful about dismissing an employee remotely even if it seems like the best approach for all concerned.
The key lesson for employers from this case is that they need to consider not just the message, but the way in which they deliver the message.