Fair Work Australia has held that an employee was unfairly dismissed, despite a valid reason for termination, because the employer refused to reschedule a termination meeting to allow the employee's support person to attend.
The employee, a financial planner, had been performance managed over the course of two years, but had demonstrated limited improvement. He was issued a final formal warning (after two previous warnings) accompanied with an action plan, and was dismissed following a failure to achieve the targets set out in the plan. At the termination meeting, the employer refused the employee's request to postpone the meeting to a later date to enable a representative to attend.
Fair Work Australia found that the employee's poor performance was a valid reason for the termination of his employment. However, it held the employee was unfairly dismissed because the employer was unreasonable in refusing to delay the meeting to enable the employee to be represented. However, the tribunal was not satisfied the employee's employment would have continued for longer than another month in any event, and therefore, ordered a remedy of four weeks' pay.
Laker v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd