I conduct training in organisations who are proactive in educating their staff about what is appropriate and inappropriate workplace behaviours.
Usually at some point in the workshop, one of the participants asks the following question-
“What happens if someone makes a false complaint?”
The recent case of Hunter is a real example of the answer to that question.
In Hunter v Commonwealth, Hunter was fired for making vexatious bullying complaints in relation to his manager, who he did not like. Hunter said the dismissal was unfair but the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has ruled that it was not because his actions were “deliberate, and seriously unsatisfactory and deceptive”.
This is a good ruling for all employees and employers to know that when a complaint is not genuine, disciplinary action, including dismissal can follow the person who made the false complaint.
This decision is even more significant in light of the commencement of complaints about bullying to the Fair Work Commission from 1 January 2014.
It is a timely reminder that while the legislation was established to provide another avenue of protection for workers who have been bullied the Commission will not tolerate false claims of bullying.
To ensure your organisation is ready to embrace the new legislative changes, contact Sue at EEO Specialists for a complimentary risk assessment.