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    A lack of procedural fairness: FWC awards $25,000 to employee sacked for visiting swimsuit site.

    A BMW dealership has been ordered to pay compensation to a former employee who it sacked for looking at women in swimsuits online during work hours. At the time of the sacking, the financial controller had already received a first and final warning for accessing pornographic sites during work hours.

    The Fair Work Commission found procedural failures could have altered the decision to sack him.

    While the FWC concluded that the former employee had accessed the swimsuit websites and that doing so was a valid reason to sack him, the company should have given him the specifics of what he had allegedly done and a better chance to respond.

    The employee had no practical opportunity to request to have a support person present to assist him during the discussions relating to his dismissal because he was unaware of what the subject matter of the meeting was before it began.

    Commissioner Williams found that the dismissal was unfair and unjust and ordered the car dealership to pay the employee $25,341 in compensation.

    Employers should provide full particulars of any allegations, give the employee a chance to respond, not unreasonably refuse to allow a support person present and ensure the employee's response can influence the final decision – it's important that the final decision is not pre-determined.


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