What Should I Do If Employees Are Taking Advantage of Their Situation?
In Australia, employer rights are comprehensive and are designed to protect employers from a wide range of situations. One of these is when employees are taking advantage of their situation and working at a sub-par level.
Unfortunately, this is something that happens on an all to frequent basis. And it can be extremely frustrating to pay someone for a job that they’re not doing right. Because of this, we decided to put together the following list of actions you can take if you feel like employees are taking advantage of their situation and not performing at an acceptable level.
After all, Australian employers have the right to expect reasonable work performance from all staff.
- Speak With the Employee in Question
The first thing you should do is sit down and speak with the employee in question. Let them know that you’re not satisfied with their performance, and tell them that they need to lift their game if they don’t want to face legal action.
Now, this step is actually extremely important. If an employee is dismissed because of performance issues that they didn’t have a chance to rectify, they may be able to make an unfair dismissal claim. Taking the initiative, speaking with them, and telling them what they need to improve will ensure you’re protected.
- Consider Terminating their Contract
Once you’ve informed an employee that you’re not happy with their performance, you will need to give them a reasonable amount of time to improve. After this time – which could be as short as a few days or as long as weeks – you will be able to safely terminate employment.
Now, it’s important to ensure you follow the correct legal channels when you’re terminating a contract, regardless of how poorly an employee is performing. Otherwise, you will likely run into legal trouble in the future.
- Speak With a Legal Professional
Now, if you’re having serious issues with one or more than one employee, you might want to speak with a legal professional to determine the best course of action. Even if you provide fair warning and give an employee the chance to improve their performance, you still run the risk of breaking the law when you fire them. After all, employees tend to have more rights than employers.
Taking your case to an employment lawyer or other professional will allow you to rest assured that you’re doing things correctly. You might be hesitant at first because of the cost, but understand that it will likely be a lot cheaper than any legal battles you have to deal with due to unfair or unlawful dismissal claims.
If you’re not satisfied with the performance of an employee, you have the right to question them and ask for an improvement. If they aren’t able to or aren’t willing to make said improvements, you may have adequate grounds for terminating their contract. But again, speak to a legal professional first to ensure you’re not breaking any laws.