Businesses must ensure that their workplace behaviour policies are sound, and employees are adequately trained in appropriate workplace behaviour. This follows recent warnings from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) that commonly utilised online, self-taught and ‘tick and flick’ training lacks the educational rigour and outcomes of face-to-face training.
- It is not sufficient for businesses to implement policies and procedures relating to workplace standards and behaviour without providing education and training to employees on the policies and procedures.
- All workers, including leaders, should undertake regular training on appropriate and respectful workplace conduct.
- Businesses should review their existing training models and consider implementing tailored, interactive and face-to-face training on appropriate workplace behaviour in light of the FWC’s recent criticisms of online, self-taught training modules.
In several recent decisions involving the dismissal of employees for inappropriate workplace conduct, the FWC has criticised employers for seeking to hold employees to account to workplace policies while failing to provide adequate training on the policies.
Further, the FWC has again highlighted the importance of following a robust disciplinary process prior to the termination of employment for inappropriate workplace conduct.
In particular, the FWC has recently made the following observations:
- When undertaking a disciplinary process related to workplace behaviour, the employer should provide:
- sufficient information (which may include collected evidence) of the alleged inappropriate behaviour to the employee;
- the relevant sections of the applicable workplace behaviour policies, and the training records associated with these policies, to the employee; and
- adequate timeframes to allow the employee an opportunity to respond to proposed reasons for termination.
- In relation to training on workplace policies, the provision of self-taught, ‘tick and flick’ online training is not appropriate and lacks the educational rigour and outcomes of face-to-face training. Further, if ‘free time’ or down time occurs during the regular course of a shift, this time can be utilised to provide employees with further training.
Employers seeking to minimise the risk that a former employee could successfully achieve reinstatement through an unfair dismissal application should carefully consider the recent comments made by the FWC in the context of their own process for implementing and applying their workplace policies and procedures and associated training.
How we can help
It is important for employers to have robust policies and procedures in place, and implement regular effective education and training on their policies, procedures and appropriate workplace behaviour.
Ai Group and Ai Group Workplace Lawyers can assist you with this by:
- Creating, reviewing or updating your workplace policies and procedures to ensure they are adequate and compliant with current legislation; and
- Facilitating engaging workplace behaviour training that is tailored to your business and assists you to meet your legal obligations.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 554 581.
This article is reproduced from the Ai Group Workplace Lawyers monthly newsletter. This Newsletter is intended to provide general information and does not take into account any specific circumstances or factual scenarios. Please contact us if you require specific legal advice based on your specific circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.