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Employee compensated for unfair dismissal due to Employer’s ‘uncertain’ Working from Home procedures

Introduction

In light of the global pandemic and more employers adapting to a work from home approach, the need for clear policies, reporting lines and communication has never been so critical. Recent Fair Work Commission decision, Danny Hanna v Renfay Projects Pty Ltd, discusses the harsh, unjust and unreasonable dismissal of Mr Danny Hanna (“the Applicant”) wherein the Applicant was awarded compensation due to a lack of transparency and uncertainty from the Respondent.

Background

On 6 March 2022, the Applicant made an application to the Fair Work Commission under section 394 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“FW Act”), alleging that he had been unfairly dismissed as an estimator from Renfay Projects Pty Ltd (“the Respondent”).

On 21 February 2022, the Applicant sent message to a group chat including the Respondent’s personnel. The HR manager took issue with this and instructed the Applicant to come into the office and attend a meeting that afternoon (“the Meeting”). During the Meeting, the Applicant was provided with a counselling letter detailing areas for improvement and proposing an additional meeting to review the Applicant’s progress.  

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