10 warning signs you’re about to be dismissed
There are often clear warning signs that you are about to be dismissed. However, sometimes we only see them with the benefit of hindsight. If you pay attention to the signs, you may be able to work out that your dismissal is imminent. And therefore, you can take proactive action. Maybe not dismissed at all. In this article, we detail some of the most common warning signs that you are about to be dismissed: 10 warning signs you’re about to be dismissed is about reading the winds of change at work. Timing is everything in some situations. When to stay? When to go? Lets explore your options.
You’re being given less work
Most employers try to get the most work out of their employees. So if you’re suddenly given far less work to do by your boss, this could be a sign that you’re about to get dismissed. You might find that your boss is assigning your usual tasks and responsibilities to a colleague. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that your boss may already be preparing your colleague to replace you.
If you’re a casual worker, a sure sign that you may be dismissed is when you are given less shifts. And even more so, if you are suddenly given no shifts, like this retail worker who posted their concerns on Reddit. The worker explains how their boss, who they describe as a “petty b*tch,” had previously given them forty hours per week in shift work. However, after she had gotten into an argument with her, her boss hadn’t rostered her on for two weeks straight.
“Because I’m not fired and am still technically on the payroll, I can’t get regular unemployment benefits,” wrote the worker. The worker explains that the argument with her boss stemmed from the fact that she didn’t allow her time off to see her family for Christmas. All she needed was her boss to cover one of her shifts, but she had refused. Now, she’s facing the inability to simply pay for life’s basic expenses and the prospect that she’s about to be dismissed. “I can’t afford this, I’m a broke recent graduate,” wrote the worker.
You’re asked to explain what you do
When an employee is being considered for dismissal, some employers may want to understand if their role is surplus to requirements. They therefore may ask you to provide a summary of the tasks that you complete each day. And how you contribute to the wider team or organization. This request would likely come out of the blue and isn’t related to any kind of performance appraisal.
You’re being micromanaged
If your boss is constantly breathing down your neck, micromanaging everything you do, it could be a sign that you’re about to be dismissed. Being micromanaged is of course extremely frustrating. And most of the time, it’s a reflection of your boss’s anxieties and incompetence, rather than a reflection of your work. If your boss is looking to get you dismissed, they might start micromanaging you in order to make you quit. Or they may do so because they (incorrectly) feel you aren’t performing your job properly.
You’re no longer receiving recognition for good work
When was the last time you were praised for your good work? If you’ve noticed that you haven’t received recognition lately, it could be a sign that you’re about to be dismissed. Recognition for accomplishments is something that most bosses will provide employees to motivate them to keep on working hard. But if your boss is planning to dismiss you, it’s likely that they won’t see the need to compliment you on your work. In their eyes, it would be contradictory to their intention to dismiss you.
You’re being ignored and ostracized
Previously, your boss and colleagues engaged you in polite chit-chat when you entered the room. They asked you what you did on the weekend. Invited you to join them for lunch. And they made sure to keep you up to date with important matters within the workplace.
Now, they aren’t doing any of these things. You notice that when you enter the room, your colleagues don’t engage you. You get a weird feeling from them, like they may know that you are going to be dismissed. You’re no longer included in important emails, meetings or discussions about work related matters. And your boss has stopped communicating important information to you that they previously did.
You’re asked to train your replacement
Could your boss be so brazen as to ask you to train up the person who they plan to replace you with? Believe it or not, it does happen. Like this worker who posted their experience training their replacement on Reddit. The worker had recently been asked to take on the workload of a colleague who had been dismissed. But struggling to manage the increased workload, the worker was called into a meeting with their boss. The worker tried to explain that they were overloaded with the work of two jobs. But their boss wouldn’t have any of it.
“I was told I should handle both no excuses,” wrote the worker. “[I was told] if I can’t do both I’m not worth my salary.” Then, not long after, a new woman started at the company. The worker explained that they are now training the woman on the additional work that they were asked to take over. However, it soon became clear that this woman wasn’t hired to help the worker, but instead to replace them. “Today a new woman started, nice enough person, but I am training her on the additional portion of work that I took over, wrote the worker. “My boss then asked for a list of other responsibilities I have. I’m training a replacement.”
You’re asked to use up your annual leave
If you’re a full-time or part-time employee, your boss may ask you to take some of your annual leave in the lead up to being dismissed. This is especially the case if you have a considerable amount of leave built up. After all, employers will want to ensure that they don’t have to pay out your annual leave once you’ve been dismissed.
However, your boss can only tell you to take annual leave in some circumstances. For example, if your company is closed over the Christmas and New Year period. Or if you have a considerable amount of annual leave built up. In the latter case, an employer can only direct you to take annual leave if it is outlined in your award or registered agreement.
You’ve been suspended from work
A suspension from work is often a precursor to being dismissed. It can be a very anxiety-inducing time for an employee, given that you are unable to interact with your colleagues. But being suspended doesn’t always mean that you are about to be dismissed. There are two types of workplace suspension. You can be suspended for health or safety reasons. That is, because you are experiencing health issues, and you need time to recover. The other type of suspension is that which coincides with a workplace investigation.
If your employer claims that you engaged in workplace misconduct, they may suspend you while they investigate the allegation. While you might be effectively out of the loop while placed on suspension, you still have rights. This includes procedural fairness, which is the ability to respond to the allegation and tell your side of the story. Also, for your workplace investigation to be conducted in a fair and unbiased manner.
Your workplace investigation may determine that you were guilty of misconduct. And you are dismissed as a result. However, if your employer violated any of your legal rights during the workplace investigation, you have the right to make an unfair dismissal claim through the Fair Work Commission. You can read our article for more information on the rights you have while suspended from work.
Your colleagues have recently been dismissed
When a company undergoes a change in management. Or if it isn’t performing well financially, this can often lead to dismissals and redundancies. If a number of colleagues have recently been let go, it could mean that your job is next. While your employer may make an effort to assure all staff that no more dismissals or redundancies will take place, they can’t guarantee it. If the company needs to cut costs, they will see dismissing staff as fair game.
And if you survive a first round of redundancies, it’s often no consolation prize. It can leave you in a constant state of anxiety, wondering when it’s your turn to get dismissed. This is what happened to this Australian tech worker, who posted his story on Reddit. The worker explains how his company underwent a restructuring due to “budget cuts.” And as a result, a number of staff were sent packing.
“Several members of my team were made redundant and it seems it was a ‘last in, first out’ scenario,” wrote the worker. “My role is def at risk if we have another round of redundancies if sales don’t pick up.” But rather than wait and see if he’s next on the chopping block, the worker decided to look for new opportunities. “I have reached out to my network, polished the CV and already have a couple of good opportunities,” he wrote.
You’ve received a final warning
A final warning is a clear sign that your dismissal may be imminent. And it may seem obvious to state this. However, a common misconception is that Australian employers are legally required to provide three written warnings before they can dismiss an employee. Or even one, for that matter. This, however, simply isn’t the case.
This means that if you receive a written warning, it could turn out to be the final one before you’re dismissed. Your employer is legally required, however, to provide a written warning if there are concerns around your work performance. This warning should clearly state how you have been underperforming. What you must do to perform improve your performance. In what timeframe you must improve your work. And the consequences of not improving your work.
If you weren’t adequately warned about underperformance, and were dismissed as a result, you have the right to make an unfair dismissal claim through the Fair Work Commission. There have been countless dismissals that the Fair Work Commission has ruled as unfair because the employer did not provide adequate warnings.
10 warning signs you’re about to be dismissed
Have you been unfairly dismissed?
If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed or your workplace rights have been violated, A Whole New Approach can offer assistance. Contact us promptly, as time is of the essence when it comes to filing an unfair dismissal or general protections claim with the Fair Work Commission.
We can guide you through the process and help you determine which claim to file. With over two decades of experience in workplace mediation, A Whole New Approach is a trusted provider of these services in Australia. Our goal is to ensure that all workers are treated fairly and equitably. We have assisted over 16,000 Australian workers in seeking redress through the Fair Work Commission.
Our initial consultation is free, confidential, and carries no obligation to engage our services. Our advisors are ready to assist you in understanding your rights and exploring your options. We are proud of our staff and the outcomes they get for our clients. Feeling harassed, mistreated as a casual employee, or working in a toxic workplace, give us a call.
Call us at 1800 333 666 for a private consultation and take the first step towards a just resolution.
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