Its Trash Day, (your dismissal) Employers Playing God
I call it trash day, similar if the politicians in the government want to announce bad news, its released 4:00pm on Fridays. When people, journalist are only interested in going home. If it makes the news, Friday night, its the lowest rating of the week. Workplace trash day, is being dismissed just before your probation period is up. After you have stood up for your self. Just after you query after you have started, your not getting paid the award rates. Lets have a closer examination of what goes on here.
Most dismissals do occur on Fridays, the end of the week. Also popular days to dismiss employees is the day before Xmas, New year and long weekends. My theory is this. Employers simply don’t want to pay for public holidays when they know they are going to dismiss the employee anyway. My second theory is employers simply don’t want to go on holidays thinking about the stress and the drama they face of having to return after a nice holiday. Then have to sack someone first thing. Its better to dismiss the employee, be it unfairly, then worry about the fallout when they return. Terminating an employee when they are about to go on annual leave is also quite common for the above reason. At least they don’t have face that employee when they return. The Deed is done!.
Xmas eve and dismissed
See it from the employees point of view. They are going home on Xmas eve having being dismissed. They will going to Xmas lunch and telling their family and friends you don’t have a job. (In some nationalities a job and the status of that job is everything). Or in the alternative lying about they do have a job and its going ok. Then after the holidays when the employer gets the unfair dismissal claim why wonder why. OMG!
Probationary periods (I call these amongst others, trash day) are the non-negotiable loophole for employers to implement your dismissal and throw out any agreement you may think you have. Many employment contracts don’t mention that a probation period applies, so new employees automatedly assume it doesn’t apply to them. To some employers dismissing someone in a probation period is all part of a days work.
If you don’t want a probation period, then your contact must indicate that. This may be particularly relevant if your giving up another job for this one. Or moving interstate for example. The concern is if you do not agree to the probation period, you may not get the job. That’s your call, your consideration.
In some cases families move their entire lives across the country just for work. The failure or the successful completion of this period is crucial to determining the rest of their lives. During this period, the boss thinks they have absolute power. They simply do as they please. Employees live in fear of their workplace overlords and unnecessarily suffer in silence, many are bullied, abused, underpaid and in some cases sexually harassed.
Extend probationary period
Many employer’s think they can extend a probationary period at any time. In theory you could be stuck in probation for years. They can even be dismissing you at any point without a legitimate reason. This is because the employee is under a “trial period” and subject to an undefined and broad criterion. This can include performance of the role, workplace behavior and some arbitrary assessments of workplace culture as well as ‘fitting in’.
Unless the employers ability to extend your probation is clearly set out in your employment contact prior to you starting employment, your probation period cannot be extended without your consent. Such clauses should be deemed unlawful and subject to stringent review as they give the employer too much power making them judge, jury, and executioner. This dangerous power when left unchecked could dissolve all rights of the employee and lead to paid slavery. Many employers will bully, treat you like a indentured worker, personal slave, seeing what you will put up with before you get out of the probation period and have access to unfair dismissal rights.
What choices does the employee have, these are the non-negotiable terms and conditions that you must/ may submit to. The employer has your fate in their hands.
Completion of the Probationary period is the equivalent to bin day for employers.
At this point they must consider whether you would be of any further use to them or if you are past your use by date before being discarded like spoiled milk. The employer would most likely serve you with a letter of termination. Their very own ‘dear john letter’ and this time it is you, not them. A template copied and pasted with all the signs of corporate bureaucracy. An emotionless and generic letter that further patronizes you with “we wish you well in your future endeavors”
Dismissal of employees often occur shortly after they exercise their workplace rights.
This can include querying their pay rate, making a complaint, or even taking sick leave. Termination under these circumstances is an unlawful and a gross exploitation of their employees, employers will rely upon this knowledge and your lack-of to steal the advantage. As far as you’re aware you’ve got no chance. (you may be eligible to lodge a unlawful dismissal claim, know as a “General Protections Application”, check our GP page for more details)
Unfair Dismissal’ application is a minimum service period of Six months
The criteria for an ‘Unfair Dismissal’ application is a minimum service period of Six months for businesses with Fifteen or more employees and Twelve months for businesses with less than Fifteen employees. It is likely you will be dismissed before you reach either and for arbitrary reasons such as an alleged complaint by a customer or perhaps your failure to fit in with the culture.
However, you do not need to satisfy the minimum employment periods to be covered just to exercise your rights. Employees are protected under the section 340 of the Fair Work Act 2009. Section 340 allows employees to seek justice against their employers if they can demonstrate a link between their dismissal and their exercising of a workplace right.
The criteria for an ‘Unfair Dismissal’ application is a minimum service period of Six months for businesses with over Fifteen employees and Twelve months for businesses with less than Fifteen employees. It is likely you will be dismissed before you reach either and for arbitrary reasons such as an alleged complaint by a customer or perhaps your failure to fit in with the culture.
You do not need to satisfy the minimum employment periods to be covered just to exercise your rights
However, you do not need to satisfy the minimum employment periods to be covered just to exercise your rights. Employees are protected under the section 340 of the Fair Work Act 2009. Section 340 allows employees to seek justice against their employers if they can demonstrate a link between their dismissal and their exercising of a workplace right. Equally you cannot be dismissed for a discriminatory reason.
Thus becoming the Achilles heel in the employer’s impenetrable defenses.
Employers hate this recourse / right that employees have and employer groups constantly lobby the Federal government to abolish this section of the Fair work Act. We are all Australian’s, where the saying goes of a “fair go mate”, so what’s so bad about employees having rights?
Employees deserve more respect in the workplace, these power imbalances unfortunately still exist today.
Despite considering our society to be modern and forward thinking it is a shame that many employers continue to abuse and exploit many hard-working Australians just trying to earn a living. Such conduct is an affront to the Australian views and values and the fundamental concept of giving everyone a fair go.
Probationary periods need further legislation and urgent reviews to stop employers from abusing their powers when deciding if Employees would remain with the business and make it unlawful for businesses to exploit employees without the intention of actual employment.
The biggest show-off comes when the employer boast about how they can, in a positive or negative way influence the appraisals, progression and salary increments (as if an employee’s future is in his/her hands). This is in many cases is how sexual harasssment, bullying and other forms of harassment evolves in the workplace. Being a employer is quite a privilege. Being in business or a position of responsibility has obligations. When employers ring me for advice or to complain or discuss a claim we have issued against them. I state “you’re in authority, you’ve got the power to influence… and most importantly you’ve got subordinates to manage, get work done, groom and develop. Not just to discipline and to sack”. Some get it, many don’t. Friday afternnoon or Monday morning is trash time.
Its Trash Day, (your dismissal) Employers Playing God
Its Trash Day, (your dismissal) Employers Playing God. I hope this article has given you some insight. Its tough out there in Australian workplaces. The pandemic has created workplace / employment mayhem, not sure about your individual circumstances? Or what to do, give me a call, We are happy to help. Trash day issues are important. We are A Whole New Approach. AWNA are not lawyers, but leading workplace advisors and commentators. All issues regarding the Fair work Commission, general protections, probationary issues, give is a call, we work in all states. VIC, NSW, Qld, Tas, NT, SA, WA.
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