You are required to research an issue in Employment Relations.
The conflicts between employer and employees are very common and it can be find out in every organisation whether the organisation is large or small. There can be many causes behind the conflicts but it is arise mainly when both employee and employer cannot pass their own point of view or escalate each other (Kaufman, 2010). The conflicts can be seen at the workplace when the compensation paid to the employees is not sufficient to meet their basic needs, can be arise when employees feel as a victim of harassment or if the employees are not getting equal employment opportunities. To understand the bases of the conflicts or disputes between the company and the employees here in this essay two news articles has been discussed both articles belongs to leading companies of Australian market the first one is Woolworths and the next is Coles. The first article that is based on the dispute between Woolworths and the employees is ‘Woolworths wins unfair dismissal appeal because employee was overseas’. The second article that is going to discuss in this essay belongs to Coles ‘Employee with bipolar fairly dismissed for misconduct’.
The first case of Woolworth is been discussed here this a case in which is been filed by one female staff member against her manger she blamed that the manger is causing harm to her metal state and due to that she is suffering from mental illness. In her file compliant, she stated that due to the mental health deteriorated she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. In addition, she filed the complaint for unfair dismissal. However after filling the case against the manager and on Woolworths, she misses the date of hearing and due to that the Woolworths has got the ‘reversed unfair dismissal case ruling after the women’. The female staff member was not able to attain the hearing of the court case and at that time Woolworths immediately launched an appeal about her act and on the bases of her non-presence, they asked the court to make the judgement in their favour. However the father of the female staff member appeared in the court and advised the commission that his daughter was in China for working at the spring festival and will return by next month. Moreover, the father of the female staff member has requested the commission to extent the date of hearing until his daughter will be available to attained the hearing. On 13 December 2017 the women has sent an email to the commission stating that she is overseas and will return in March 2018. On her mail, the commission has replied by saying that the female staff member has to provide a valid reason behind her travel and has to provide a copy of her itinerary. The female staff member did not sent any reply on the mail given by the commission and due to that the hearing were ahead scheduled on December 2017 and this time also no appearance was made by the female staff or on behalf of the women. By the continuous act of non-appearance the at the initial judgement in August the Fair work commission stated that the mental illness of the female member was without doubt of significant and debilitating nature. The judgement made by the commission was based on the facts and finding on the claim of the women missed the submission deadline. On March 2018, the women has sent an email to the commission that due to the bad communication environment in overseas she would not able to send a reply and in continuation she stated that now she has become normal and now onwards she will sent reply on time. After her mail commission again ask her to submit the travel details, for that she again ask for the extension but this time commission rejected the request. On March 19 2018, she submits the copy of itinerary to the commission. The date that was mentioned in the travel itinerary was September 14 2017, which was after her date of apple hearing, on this the women has given her explanation that it happens due to her mental illness and lack of knowledge about her rights. The commission in the end reject the apple of the women by stating that it was sympathetic to people with mental illness but there should be sufficient reason to grant an extension. The women is continuously ignoring the statutory time limit and also rejected an exceptional circumstances. in the end the commission agreed to Woolworths request for the women application for an unfair dismissal remedy to be rejected and for its appeal to be upheld (Patty, 2018).
The second news article is about the Coles and the dismissal of the employee. The bases of the case is the employees has filed a complaint against the company by stating that his dismissal that is conducted by the company is unfair. On his apple the employee argued that his termination was not justified as he serve company for 21 years, his medical conditions are not good and he state that he did not get a proper opportunity to respond. On these bases he denial all allegations levied against him. The base of the case is that Coles has terminated one worker for racism, swearing and behaving aggressively towards fellow employees. In the case many facts is been presented by company against the employee. Firstly the employee has start sending messages to his female customer service manager in his text message he has used very abusive language that cannot be written as it is in the assignment. At that time on complain of the female customer service manger the Human resource manager of the company has issued a warning letter against the employees. Moreover, after the issuance of the warning letter the employee came allegedly to the store for looking his customer service manager, saying to fellow team members in the tea room where is Rachel and in continuation in front of all employees who are present at tea room he has used very abusive words against the female customer manger. Moreover, few more time he does the same kind of act. Due to his abusive behaviour and racism, comments against the female employee even after issuing the warning letter lead the decision of his termination. Against the harsh decision of the company, the employee has filed a complaint against the company. About his message in the commission he said that his account was got hacked by one of his friend and he sent the abusive message to the victim. In his favour, he said in the commission that his medical conditions are not good she know that already still, she has changed my shift and at the time of termination, his five-week pay was in lieu. After considering all the facts of the case Fair employee commission made its decision against the employee that if the medical condition of the employee is not good still he do not have right to abuse his fellow employee and in this case the employee is female. In its decision, the commission said that the termination of the employee is not harsh, unfair, unjust or unreasonable the company has followed all rules and ordered Coles to pay his five-week salary (HRD, 2018).
Here in this assignment Woolworths case is been evaluated. The company won the particular case on the ground that the employee was not available in the country at the time of the hearing and due to the bad communication she was not able to provide evidence of her absence from the hearing and on the next hearing she is not available. On that note the commission has made the decision against the employees. However, beside the decision of the case, while analysing the conditions it is been evolved that just because of the non-appearance company won the case otherwise they have to compensate the employees on the bases of the case of providing mental trauma to the employees by performing unfair dismissal. The unfair dismissal is an act in which the employer terminates the employee without providing good reason or specific criteria of termination. Australia is a country who always take stand to protect its employees in relation to dismissal (Poole, 2013). The employer could not dismiss an employee for prohibited reason and of the employer has done so the employee right to file case against the act of the employer. In the case of the Woolworth also the female staff member has raise a case against the company on the ground that the company has terminated her on unfair ground and due to that she has suffered a mental illness and got admitted in the hospital. On her non-appearance at the time of hearing she stated that before when the incident take place she was not aware about her rights and when she file case due to some important work she has to leave the country. Here the female employee has shown negligence in the case and due to that, she lose it. Moreover, if she will be available at the time the court hearing she must have won this. The stage of mental illness can be occurs in any human being and if the illness is raised due to the employer it can raise a problem for them (Refslund, 2016). It is the basic principle of every business of each size that they have no right to pressurised employees in any sort of situation.
There can be many reasons behind the dismissal of employees such as if at the time of the employment the employee has lied about his/her health or qualification and on the bases of these factor he/she were not suitable for the job. Other can include sort of misbehaviours, theft of the company’s property or information, if the employee has used an abusive or racist behaviour or can be on the bases of breach of criminal or civil laws outside work hours that may result into a dismissal under the terms of gross misconducting or brining the name of the company into disrepute (Baccaro & Howell, 2011). There can be other reason also behind the dismissal such as some of the company client has filed compliant against the employees, if employee refuse working or working with the other employees etc. Other than these acts if the company terminate the employees that will falls under the category of unfair dismissal.
In the particular case of the Woolworth in the newspaper article there is no specific reason of unfair dismissal was stated. The case was published when the company won the case and due to that nobody give much importance in knowing the reason behind the act. However it is been said that if the employee filed the case against the company regarding the unfair dismissal their might be a chance that employees in real have face issues. In the particular case, the employee herself has stated and attached evidence stating that due to the unfair dismissal she suffered from the mental illness (Bechter, Brandl & Meardi, 2012). In the particular case of the Woolworth, noting was cleared which party is right and which party is wrong who the main culprit. The decision of case was just goes in the favour of the Woolworths because the female staff member who has filed the case has not available in the country at the time of hearing and she has neglect the emails of the commission.
If the employee how has filed the complaint against the company was present at the time of the hearing the decision can be vary from the current decision. The decision of the case can be go in favour of the employee and the company has to pay out the compensation of the unfair dismissal and in additional they have to pay an additional amount to the employee because of mental illness suffered by the employee due to the act of the manager of the company. In a whole the decision of the Fair employee commission is based on the fact and figures presented by both the parties if the parties and accordingly the commission will make the decision.
Here the critical evaluation and analysis of the second case is been done. The second case is related, to the one of the biggest company of Australia Coles in that particular case the one male employee of the company has filed the case against the company that the company has terminated him on the unfair ground like the previous case in this this the reason was full described in the article. The employee has filed the complaint on the ground of his medical conditions. He stated that even after knowing the health conditions his customer relation manager has shifted him to the night shift. However, the truth is that the company has presented the evidence against him (Bach & Bordogna, 2011). The way of expressing the anger toward a female customer service manager is very wrong. To show his anger he sent very bad and abusive messages to the other employee, in the messages the person has used a very bad language. The female employee has made a complaint against the male employee and for this bad behaviour the HR department has issue him a warning letter. Because of the warning letter the man get more mad over the female and next day in the office in front of other staff member he abuses the female staff manager the words that he has used was very aggressive, containing discrimination on the base of racism and gender. This time the company directly hand over him a termination letter on the ground of his abusive behaviour against the following team members (Watson, 2013). The company has all the rights to terminate the employee if he/she was involve in the conduct of the misbehaviour, use abusive word or shown a racist behaviour towards the other employees. On that ground, only the Fair employee commission had made the decision against the male employee.
In every organisation, the employees expect that they are going to be treated considerately and fairly. When it comes to the issues of fair treatment, race hate and race discrimination it become a legal and moral duty and responsibility of the employer to investigate and provide their response when they come to know about the issue and should also take a corrective measures against the employee who have done the wrong act. It is responsibility of the employer to take the matter of race and abusive behaviour seriously before it becomes a huge criminal issue of harassment (Lu, Tao & Wang, 2010). The employer has to perform a duty of and provides a full care to the victims who face the discrimination. The racial harassment can take many different forms it can be written or verbal comments, threat of violence or violence. For every organisation, it becomes very important to deal with these issues, not only because of the legal obligations but also because of knock on effects. An atmosphere of harassment can damage the morale generally in all parts of the workplace (Godard, 2014). The organisation should provide an environment in which the person who has faces the case of discrimination or abusive behaviour they can make a claim against the act to an employment tribunal. For employees it is better that they will talk to the employer first and try to solve the issues out the court informally, in order to minimise the negative effect on all parties involved in the case.
After the reporting of the discrimination, it become the responsibility of the employer to investigate the matter of alleged race discrimination and should deal with the employees involved in a fair and reasonable manner. In the case the employer that is Coles has investigate the matter provide their emphases on each and every aspect of the case and after that they have made the decision of terminating the male employee who have done the act of race and use abusive language in message as well as at the work place (Williams, 2013). The employee has filed a complaint against the company by stating that they have terminate him under the act of unfair dismissal but in that particular act the company won the case because the act which the employee has performed is illegal and in any circumstance he cannot prove it right. It is the moral responsibility of every employee that if they are having any issues or problem with the decision of their manager in place of using the abusive language it will be better they will talk to the manger and try to convince them by telling their respective problem to change the decision (Howell, 2011).
To run the business of the organisation effectively both Woolworths and Coles need to adopt the various methods thorough with the problems and issues of the employees could get resolved. In both the cases the issue of unfair dismissal is been arise. It is important for the companies to let it employees know the meaning to the unfair dismissal. To be safe from the employment issues the companies need to make strong HRM policies and also need to make a separate grievance management department.
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