Do you allow employees to have intimate liaisons during or after work?
Where do you stand on fighting and bullying?
To discourage such behaviour, the Employment Contract must allow for Policies, such as an Employee Relations Policy. Our Employment Contracts allows you to enforce such Policies. Our Employment Contracts stop affairs, fights and bullying.
In the case of Bradshaw v Rugby Portland Cement, the employee was convicted of incest with his daughter. He is summarily dismissed. He files an unfair dismissal claim. Surprisingly, the Court upholds his unfair dismissal claim. He returns to work.
The Court states his conviction is not connected to his employment as a pilot. His Employment Contract fails to refer to any Policies. Build Employment Contracts on our website and you can sack him.
Do Policies also catch out Employers?
Policies should rule how employees conduct themselves. They should not trap an employer. When the Employment Contract is drafted correctly the Employers is not bound by their own Policies. Employers can change the Policies. Policies should not limit the employers’ discretion. In McCormick, an employee successfully argued that the company had to pay him a termination package according to its own Redundancy Policy.
Again, this could not have happened if the employer had built the Employment Contract on our law firm’s website.
Can’t I just direct the employee to obey a Policy?
You can’t automatically direct an employee to obey Policies. Instead, incorporate them into the Employment Contract. For example, in BHP v AWU , the Court held that a memo was not sufficient to bind the employee to the Policies. It is only possible to bind an employee to Policies by express reference in the Employment Contract.
Again, had BHP built a Legal Consolidated Employment Contract, they would have got their Policies enforced.
Employer faces fine of $10,000 for bullying
Bullying can even result in criminal penalties. This is under work health and safety laws.
A retail fashion store was fined $10,000. And ordered to pay costs of $10,308. This is after it repeatedly bullied an injured worker.
WorkSafe Victoria prosecuted Harry Kim Pty Ltd. This is regarding a period of 2 months over which it harassed one of its employees. The employee suffered a workplace injury to her back. This resulted in an ongoing work incapacity.
In person and through text messages included:
- yelling at and texting the employee, suggesting that her back injury was not work-related
- challenging the reliability and work ethics of the employee
- demanding that the employee provide complete work and workers’ compensation history
- threatening the employee by saying that “sooner or later [she] would pay for what [she] had done”
- telling the employee in person that she was fat and had gained weight, which was – in the employer’s view – the ‘real’ reason for the back injury
- attending the employee’s home unannounced and uninvited, to collect a copy of a shop key, but then shouting abuse at the employee
The Court is satisfied that the employer had breached its duty of care and was guilty. The employer’s breaches:
- failing to ensure that bullying behaviour did not occur
- and that if it did occur, processes, policies or procedures are in place to identify and respond to it to eliminate or reduce risks to health and safety of employees caused by such behaviour
- failing to regulate workplace behaviour or to provide a mechanism to assist employees subject to, or witnessing, bullying behaviour to raise concerns regarding the risks to health and safety caused by such behaviour
In setting the penalty, the Court stated that the bullying conduct is multi-faceted. It included cruel barbs and other aggressive and demeaning behaviours. And the offending continued for a protracted period of time.
To stop the inappropriate flings, build your employment contract here.
 Bradshaw v Rugby Portland Cement Co Ltd  IRLR 46.
 McCormick v Riverwood International Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1640.
 BHP Iron Ore Pty Ltd v Australian Workers’ Union (2000) 102 FCR 97.