HR Tips & Answers

I’m sick of it. I just want them gone…the phone call starts.

The phone conversation typically starts with that statement – one that sadly I hear too often.

Leisa: How long has it been an issue?

Employer: Months / years!

Leisa: So, who are we talking about?

Leisa: As it is an employee, have you discussed your concerns with them?

Employer: Of course, I have discussed it, heaps of times, they just don’t listen, or don’t respond and nothing changes.  They may be OK for a while and then it goes downhill again.  I’m sick of it; I want to get rid of them!

Leisa: Now here’s the kicker…… Have you any evidence of the discussions that you had with them, perhaps some diary notes with times and place outlining the discussions, your concerns.?

Employer: What, I’m too busy to make notes, I’m too busy fixing up the mess they make, but there have been plenty of discussion with them and they know that it’s not working.

It is impacting me, the team and the business.

Leisa: So, let’s get this straight, for quite some time the employee has been underperforming or behaving badly and you have had a number of discussions with them, and they haven’t responded positively.  You believe that they understand what the issue is, but you haven’t seen any improvement and it’s gotten to a stage where you want to terminate their employment?

Employer: Yes, I just want them gone – Now / No Yesterday.

The risks:

Leisa: OK, then let’s go over the risks and likely costs to the business before we act, shall we?

  • For $74.50 any employee can lodge an Unfair Dismissal. An unfair dismissal is where an employee feels that they were dismissed and that the process was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.
  • Regardless of whether you are a Small Business (less than 15 employees at the time), history tells me that it is likely to go to conciliation.
  • And unless you have evidence to support your actions then it is likely that their claim will be upheld, Yep you pay them more dollars.
  • An employee’s other alternative is a General Protections or Unlawful termination claim, stating that you dismissed them because of race, religion, union association to name just a few, or that they have been unwell to name just a few.

Employer: But that’s ridiculous, how I am supposed to run a business when it seems all the one way – to the benefit of the employee?

Leisa: Well, it’s not really, if you can provide some evidence of the discussion that you have had with the employee and you follow a respectful process then it’s unlikely that they would make a claim but if they did the odds are more on your side. – Remember the kicker above.

Employer: I’m still not happy.  They aren’t working well, and it needs to fixed.

Leisa: Well, how about we make a list of the issues and some examples.  Once we have this information why don’t we sit down with the employee and discuss it.

Employer: Is this going to fix the problem?

Leisa: It is the starting point, so when is a good time to meet?

If this situation rings any bells remember we are here to help so give us a call (02) 6009 1000

Published: Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

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