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JobWatch was featured on Human Resources Director Australia on 18 May 2022, commenting on terminations while on sick leave.
May 18, 2022
“Each case would have to be considered on its own merits,” reflects Zana Bytheway, executive director at JobWatch, an Australian organisation supporting over 16,000 workers’ rights. “Where an employee chooses to put in an unfair dismissal claim because they’ve been dismissed for absences, an employer would need to provide evidence that they had made an effort to contact the employee during their absences to find out where they are and ensured there were no extenuating circumstances that would reasonably justify the absence, for example the employee was unexpectedly in hospital.”
A firm would also have to show that they had Issued formal warnings that future unexplained absences would be grounds for dismissal, Zana explains. “While employees should certainly aim to be in contact with their employer if they are absent without leave, employers must ensure that they follow due process before summarily dismissing an employee,” she adds.