Recently the Government has been proposing to make changes to employment law.

One of the more subtle changes that may not be very popular with some is the test to justify dismissal.  There is a proposed amendment to Section 103A which is to be changed from what a fair and reasonable employer would have done to what a fair and reasonable employer could have done.

When deciding whether a disciplinary action resulting in a warning, final warning or dismissal is justified, four things must be considered.  These are:

  • The employer’s concerns were raised with the employee
  • The employee had a reasonable opportunity to respond
  • The employer genuinely considered the employee’s explanation
  • Having regard to the employer’s resources, there has been sufficient investigation.

Case law in the future will have to determine the importance of these and other perpetually fair matters such as the right to have a support person and being able to see all relative documents.  However it would appear that there is still a strong element of procedural fairness required.