It is timely to look at an unfair dismissal case from earlier this year concerning an administration employee working in a residential aged care facility who claimed she was unfairly dismissed when she refused to be vaccinated against influenza.
The case highlights that an employer may have a valid reason to dismiss an employee if:
However, such dismissals may be considered unfair if the decision to terminate is not preceded by a procedurally fair process.
The case centred around a requirement under a NSW health order in respect of residential aged care facilities which required:
The employer successfully defended the unfair dismissal claim because it was able to show, among other things, that it acted in an objectively prudent and reasonable way and it notified the employee of the reason for her dismissal and she was given an opportunity to respond.
WALGA and State Council take their responsibility as Trustee of your Scheme very seriously and regularly review the Scheme and the services provided to members.
Steps taken by the employer included:
The decision made by Commissioner McKenna (Kimber v Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care Ltd  FWC 1818) was appealed.
In September 2021 the majority Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission refused to allow the appeal (Kimber v Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care Ltd  FWCFB 6015). From both the decision of the majority and the dissenting decision of Deputy President Dean the following key lessons can be learnt:
Please note that it has been reported that there are plans to appeal the decision in the Federal Court.
WALGA Employee Relations provides comprehensive human resource management and industrial relations support to local government members. WALGA Employee Relations regularly provides advice on managing COVID-19 and disciplinary processes to local governments which subscribe to the service.
For more information, please visit the WALGA website www.walga.asn.au
WA local governments control over 140 landfill facilities and approximately 84 waste transfer stations.
Waste and recycling facilities are considered high risk due to the increased levels of combustibles, the potential for environmental damage, and health and safety concerns.
Conflict in the workplace is almost an inevitable part of working life.
It is common to have disagreement with colleagues due to the fact that you are working with people who have different working preferences, personal values, and working styles.