The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently ruled in an unfair dismissal matter that an employee’s lack of formal qualifications provided a valid reason for dismissal. However, the FWC ruled that the dismissal was unfair because she was called into a ‘disciplinary meeting’ at short notice and dismissed without being given a proper opportunity to respond. The FWC found that the way the employer expedited the dismissal process severely limited the employee’s ability to respond to allegations of misconduct and made the process procedurally unfair.
The employee was a disability care provider, and the parties disputed whether she had been given permission to tube-feed clients despite lacking the required formal qualification. There was confusion over whether the employee was allowed to perform the tube feeding procedure, and evidence that the employer had not provided the opportunity for her to gain the necessary qualification. The employer already knew at the time of dismissal that she did not have the necessary formal qualifications.