Unfortunately, it is commonplace this day and age that disgruntled employees threaten court action on the ground of bullying or wrongful dismissal. Regardless of circumstances, addressing performance and disciplinary actions present a minefield of potential risk issues for employers. As a basic rule of thumb, employers must ensure that at all times their actions are reasonable, proportionate and also compliant with the law.
Employment relationships can come to an end for a variety of reasons. Whether the circumstances of the employment ending is amicable or not, it is important to ensure that you are abiding by your lawful obligations and responsibilities.
Before terminating employment, consideration needs to be given to a range of issues including the grounds for which employment is being terminated, notice periods to be given and payment of employee entitlements. It is not always easy to understand or to navigate these issues. Unfortunately, if you fail to comply with the law when ending an employment relationship there can be a range of adverse outcomes that result.
For this reason, it is prudent to receive legal advice to determine how best to manage the ending of such working relationships, and where necessary to guide the manner in which this process in undertaken.
Forge Legal has a team of experienced employment lawyers, able to provide representation and advice to employers and employees alike in relation to ending employment relationships. We have an exceptional track record of minimising the financial risks and time wastage issues associated with wrongful dismissal claims.
It is not uncommon for employers to have to implement disciplinary actions to seek to address deficient or unacceptable employee behaviour. If managed well, disciplinary action can correct unacceptable or deficient behaviours and result in a positive outcome in the workplace and for all involved. If managed poorly disciplinary action can give rise to a host of employment and staffing issues that can ultimately lead to a disengaged workforce.
Common examples of disciplinary action, provided they are justified, reasonable and proportionate, may include:
- Demotion; and
- Termination of employment.
Given the likelihood of and consequence of litigious action, whether it be justified or not, it is best practice in business to have a dedicated human resources team. Alternatively it is of utmost importance to maintain open and ongoing dialogue with an experienced employment lawyer regarding employee discipline and management issues.
Forge Legal has an exceptional employment law team and is well placed to advise employers on preventative steps to avoid issues of workplace ‘bullying’. We are also highly experienced regarding the implementation of disciplinary action processes and to practically assist with the implementation of relevant steps to correctly rectify employee concerns.