Despite frustrated emails to IT department, employee wins unfair dismissal case
A course coordinator at Melbourne College lost his job after a spat of frustrated emails sent to his IT department outlining his displeasure at relaying failures both he and his students had encountered regarding their computer systems.
Dr Horgan’s dismissal in October 2014, his case for unfair dismissal was put before the Fair Work Commission, the Australian equivalent to the English Employment Tribunals. Prior to his dismissal, the employee had been warned about the limitations of his institute’s IT department and had been warned for voicing his frustrations. His termination came about due to the continual outcry of his grievances.
The commission agreed there was valid reason and concern by other members of staff to terminate the employee’s contract. As well as enough evidence of inappropriate work content sent between staff in emails, yet Dr Horgan ‘was not advised of the reasons and given an opportunity to respond to them’. As a result, his claim for unfair dismissal was deemed successful and he received compensation in the form of 4 weeks wage. It is important to recognise that proper cause does not excuse and employer for following proper disciplinary procedures.
Cases such as this are not uncommon, and businesses can protect themselves by following proper procedure. Employment law solicitors Manchester can help guide and protect businesses. Not only during proceedings but also by drafting robust processes with the aim of preventing issues that may arise.