Wrongful termination of an employee can be a costly business. It is in an employer’s interests to get it right.
There are generally two scenarios in terminating someone’s employment.
In the first, when an employee has conducted themselves in a manner to warrant summary dismissal, the employer does not have to provide a period of notice or payment in lieu to the employee.
In the second, where an employee has done nothing to justify summary dismissal, the employer must provide notice, or payment in lieu, in accordance with the express or implied terms of the contract.
The situations in which employers can summarily dismiss an employee will, therefore, be of keen interest to them. This is especially so because employers who wrongfully summarily terminate an employee may be liable for breach of contract.
One way an employer can be justified in summarily terminating an employee is if the employee disobeys a lawful direction the employer gives them.
However, if the employer acquiesces in such disobedience, or condones the employee’s conduct, the right to terminate in such circumstances is lost.
Failure to clarify an employee’s rights and failure to intervene in wrongful conduct constitutes condoning it.
An employer who wrongfully terminates the employment of an employee can be liable for a significant sum – in a recent case, $500,000 had to be paid out in damages to an employee who was wrongfully dismissed.
Reproduced with the permission of the Law Society of New South Wales.
For more information and advice concerning Employment Law, contact the experienced team at Rockliffs Lawyers today.