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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5421
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Is this legal? Invitation to disciplinary meeting The

Customer Question

Is this legal? Invitation to disciplinary meeting
The purpose of this letter Is to formally advise you that an allegation of misconduct has recently been brought to our attention.
On 201h July at approximate 18:00, it is alleged that that you did not follow Company compliance standards. Specifically, you displayed negligence when you failed to record a telephone conversation from a student. When asked why this was not recorded, you responded with "I forgot". As such, this is in breach of Company compliance, Company policy and the VET fee framework. Such conduct has the potential to cause an imminent risk to reputation, productivity and profitability of the business. Furthermore, such conduct demonstrates a lack of adherence to Company policy and your overall responsibilities as a part of your role.
If proven, this misconduct may result in a written warning, a final written warning or the termination of your employment.
Prior to any decision being made, and to enable a full and detailed investigation of this matter, we request your attendance at a disciplinary meeting which has been specifically convened to provide a suitable opportunity for you to respond to this allegation.
You are expected to make every effort to attend this meeting and are placed on notice that the Company reserves the right to make a determination in your absence if you fail to attend this meeting for whatever reason.
I will have sole responsibility for the conduct of this meeting, together with any resulting decision which is to be made.
You are of course welcome to bring a support person to this meeting should you choose.
All matters and information relating to this allegation are confidential and you are directed not to discuss them with any other person without my express prior consent. Any failure by you to maintain confidentiality may lead to disciplinary action.
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in? I'm just trying to get information to help you.
Customer: Qld
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: This does not relate to me but a work colleague who has asked me to be a support person which I unfortunately can't be as I won't be at work.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Queensland
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: Not that I am aware of.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

Calling a meeting of this sort is not illegal for an employer, however it has no particular legal status. Employers can discipline or dismiss staff if circumstances reasonably warrant and holding meetings of this sort is simply a way to show that the employer is behaving reasonably in having a process to raise concerns with staff and to give them a right of reply to allegations. Having had such a meeting, however, does not of itself allow the employer to dismiss or take disciplinary action, if such results it will still be a question of fact as to whether or not the issues complained of warrant the dismissal or disciplinary action that the employer ultimately decides to impose.
If the matter relates to a simple and rare oversight on the part of an employee, in some context that is not business crucial or a safety issue, such would ordinarily not warrant a dismissal or perhaps any disciplinary action at all, and it may be that this process is just designed to convince the employee that this is an issue the employer considers important.

I would recommend your friend take a support person if only to be a witness as to what was said, but ultimately it is not the meeting itself which warrants concern or legal action, it will be what action the employer takes, if any, for what appears to be a minor issue.

I trust the above assists your understanding.

Good luck and please rate my answer.