The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code has been in operation since 1 July 2009. It helps small business employers with a fair process to follow when dismissing employees in order to protect the employer against an unfair dismissal claim.
Who does the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code apply to?
It applies to any small business employer who has less than fifteen employees – they can either be permanent or casual employees who are employed on a regular and systematic basis.
What does it mean?
If a small business has under 15 employees and they needed to dismiss an employee that had been with them for more than 12 months, if they follow the fair dismissal code and dismiss the employee fairly – they can’t have an unfair dismissal claim commenced against them. However evidence would need to be provided to show that they have complied with the small business fair dismissal code.
What does it do?
The code explains to the small business employer on how to fairly dismiss an employee, the responsibilities of the employer, the employee’s rights and what the business can do if the employee commences an unfair dismissal claim.
The code also explains that it is fair for an employer to dismiss an employee without warning or notice if an employer believes on reasonable grounds that the employee’s conduct is serious enough to justify instant dismissal.
Conduct where instant dismissal would be considered reasonable would be in cases of theft, assault, violence and fraud. However, in situations like this, if it was serious enough for the employee to be dismissed immediately, a police report should be made.
It also explains that in the case of a genuine redundancy, an employee can not commence a claim for unfair dismissal.
Small Business Fair Dismissal Code Checklist
This is a checklist that is designed to help a small business employer comply to the small business fair dismissal code to make sure they follow a fair and systematic process and determine the reason that they are dismissing an employee and to make sure that it is done in a fair way to help prevent an unfair dismissal claim being commenced against them.
It is suggested that the employer read the small business fair dismissal code prior to filling in the checklist so they are aware of their responsibilities, the employee’s rights and the procedural requirements they need to follow to enable a fair process is followed.