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How to Fire an Employee without Risk of Repercussion

Most business owners will have experienced hiring an employee that isn’t performing quite up to the standards required for their position. From poor performances all the way to disrespect and undermining, a bad member of staff can affect the way a company is able to operate. In the past, it was fairly straight forward to rid a workplace of a troubling staff member, but these days there are a variety of protective legislations and protocols in place to ensure that the employee is treated fairly and not dismissed without good cause.

For those asking ‘how can I fire an employee’, the answer is fairly simple; with good reason. After extensive research undertaken by government agencies and law experts, it was discovered that many individuals that had been dismissed from their workplaces actually felt that they were fired unfairly.

This gave rise to many claims and hundreds of businesses were forced to pay compensation – and not always fairly. Although there are plenty of claims that have been made against companies that haven’t been successful, it’s no wonder why many CEOs are very dubious when it comes to firing unwanted or un-needed employees. For those that have no choice in the matter; what is the best way to move forward?

Consider the grounds for dismissal

When firing a member of staff, there are a few things that are worth thinking about – but the grounds for dismissal are definitely one of the most important. A few of the most common causes (and those that can be supported in court) include:

Misconduct – This type of event can relate to workplace responsibilities, personal activities (including creating a poor impression away from the workplace), or acting in a way that could be deemed as inappropriate in a court of law. This is the most common reason for individuals receiving a contract termination.

Sexual Harassment – The rules regarding this event are very straight forward. If an individual is suspected of sexual harassment, then a company is well within their rights to suspend them – with or without pay – while an investigation takes place. Where evidence is obtainable and the individual clearly committed the offence, then it is acceptable to terminate a contract and fire the culprit. Legal advice can be obtained to support the companies’ claim, just in case any complaints arise.

Poor performance – A good business will thrive when its employees are capable of propelling it – and this is something that all Australian authorities will understand and encourage. As a result, if an employee isn’t performing quite as well as they are expected, or if they seem to lack the required enthusiasm for their particular role; then a company can opt to fire them on the grounds that they aren’t up to the job. As long as ample evidence can be demonstrated, including assessments and similar documentation, a company will be able to trust that the legal system will support their decision.

Check our infoSheets on employment, and our recommended sites including HR consultants EmployeeMatters.

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