VIC Manager refuses to accept stat dec

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by David G, 17 February 2019.

  1. David G

    David G Member

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    Hi guys i am new here and am in a bit of a predicament and would love a little help from some knowledgeable people.

    I have been a company casual at my workplace for 15 months now, I am a pick packer and our workload is determined by a percentage (100% pickrate means we have completed our required amount of work) i am never below 100% usually finish most days on 110-125%.
    In my first few months of work i had quite a few unexplained days off which i recieved a written warning for, i accepted that took it on the chin and saw it as incentive to make more effort to be a better employee as i really like working there.

    Since then i have had roughly 10 days off over 6 months from being extremely sick with influenza A which also caused me to start having extreme migraines for a while.
    I felt i was too sick to be able to drive safely to see a doctor so when i felt better i got a stat dec to cover the days off that werent covered by a medical cert as advised by my employer.

    In recent weeks my employer has called me in for several interviews saying that they are not accepting my stat dec on the grounds that i had signed a workplace agreement on the first written warning saying that i would only provide medical certificates for my days off and that i was barred from using a stat dec (even though i never had before) at my workplace so to them the days off remain unexplained and tomorrow they are going to issue me a 2nd written warning which is one step away from being fired.

    I am pretty sure that under fair work they are not allowed to have any policy that states that they do not have to accept a stat dec as evidence but they continue to mention that it was agreed upon on the first warning.

    Furthermore i am a union member and as such i am entitled to have a union delegate present during my meetings with my employer, on thursday my employer called me into their office and said that i was going to recieve the 2nd warning but had organised our meeting while our delefates were away in a seperate meeting so i refused to enter the meeting with him and told him to organise a time when my chosen delegate was available to sit with us, the following day (friday) i was called to his office again and told that the delegate was not at work and that i dont need him there and to just come in and take the warning, again i refused and repeated that he should organise the meeting when my chosen delegate was available.
    My employer then spoke to me in a very aggressive tone saying that the furthest he would push the meeting was monday (tomorrow) and that whether my delegate is there or not i have no choice but to enter the meeting then told me that whether a delegate is there or not it wont help my case that i am getting the warning no matter what.
    I then told him that by law he cannot refuse my stat dec and therefore cannot issue me the 2nd warning to which he aggressively replied that i dont know what im talking about and he can do as he pleases.

    My question is, is he in the wrong and if he does give me the second warning what am i able to do about it.
    I have read that i may be able to speak to the fairwork ombudsman and potentially file a lawsuit but i just want to get some advice before i dive into the deep end.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks for your time
     
  2. David G

    David G Member

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    I forgot to metion that i am an afternoon shift worker and he is a dayshift manager so i really have no idea why he is after me, none of the management on my shift has a problem with me. Our workplace is currently on a massive cull having fired around 80 workers recently, we are months away from ridding the warehouse of an entire section of stock and workloads will be slowing so i feel that he is trying to find any excuse possible to fire people
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    Two issues are mentioned in your post:

    1. Use of stat decs instead of medical certificates. The occasional use of stat decs is likely OK, however continual use is likely not OK without very good reasons, especially with taxi's and Uber available to get you around if you can't drive. The test is an objective test and not what you think is reasonable, and not what the boss thinks is reasonable. Continual use of stat decs is likely not going to be reasonable unless you can convince a judge it is reasonable in your circumstances.

    2. Taking a support person into a workplace meeting. Management does not have to allow a support person unless it is in the award/EA/employment contract. It may be the custom to allow a support person, but there is often no requirement to have one.
     
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  4. David G

    David G Member

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    In our eba agreement it states that union members are allowed a support person whenever being approached by management.

    This was my first use of a stat dec, i was hospitalised with a respatory virus which i had a med cert for, the doctors told me i could return to work after x amount of days when i was no longer contageous although i would still feel terrible for the following 2-4 weeks.
    I returned to work the day i was no longer contageous but the dust in the warehouse was torture on my lungs to the point i was struggling to breath so i went home and took a few extra days to recover which i used the stat dec to cover as well as a couple of days with severe migraines.
    My employer told me previously that a stat dec was acceptable and then when i bought it in told me that they refuse to accept it and that my days off remain unexplained and are using that as grounds to give me the warning.

    The meeting didnt happen today, whether that was due to me bringing up that they have to accept the stat dec as per our eba agreement or they just didnt have time i dont know but i am glad n i get a little more time to research and cover my bases
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    So far so good :)
     
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