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August 2018


Two Shores Holiday Park

'Impulsive reaction to frustration'

Handyman awarded $19,000 after sacking

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THE Fair Work Commission has ordered Two Shores Holiday Village at The Entrance in NSW to pay a former casual handyman nearly $19,000 for unfair dismissal.

The Commission was told that 62-year-old Anthony Morley had looked after the park's gardens and performed general maintenance since 2012.

He was given his marching orders by owner Raymond Smith after a dispute over repairing a faulty sprinkler system which was causing plants to die.

In his written decision, Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge found that the way in which Mr Morley was dismissed was severely flawed.

He had not been given a written notice of his termination and just one week's notice.

Applicant should have been made aware that employer had concerns

"The applicant should have been made aware that the employer had concerns about his conduct and performance which jeopardised his ongoing employment," Commissioner Cambridge said.

"It is readily conceivable that if the applicant had been clearly advised and warned that his employment was in jeopardy unless he repaired the irrigation/sprinkler system immediately, and that he increased the watering of the flora, he would have complied with such directions.

"Alternatively, if the applicant had disregarded such warning and not followed the reasonable direction of the employer, then the employer would have established valid reason upon which to dismiss."

The hearing was told that two years after being asked to repair the sprinkler system, plants were dying and Mr Morley was allegedly fired on the spot.

Commissioner Cambridge said the case had involved a "very hasty and ill-conceived decision to dismiss the applicant without valid reason".

It represented a "spur of the moment decision" by Mr Smith as an impulsive reaction to his frustration regarding aspects of the conduct of the applicant about which the applicant had not been warned.

"Consequently, the dismissal was without valid reason and involved significant procedural deficiencies," the Commissioner said.

"The dismissal of the applicant was harsh, unjust and unreasonable."

Two Shores Holiday Village was ordered to pay Mr Morley 20 weeks' wages of $19,096, less $500 for an unpaid loan.


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the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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