Commissioner Asbury heard that the Manager had directed two staff members under her management (‘the Employees’) to falsely record their hours worked. Specifically, the Manager had directed the Employees to include false information in their timesheets to show that hours actually worked on a weekend had been worked between Monday to Friday (‘the Directions’). His Honour found that this amounted to misconduct.
His Honour also stated that the misconduct was exacerbated by the fact that the Directions were given in circumstances where the Manager’s supervisor (‘the Supervisor’) had expressed concern over the Employees working long hours and on weekends, and the Manager had subsequently assured the Supervisor that the Employees would not be performing weekend work. Further, although the Manager did not gain a financial benefit from giving the Directions, the Manager had given the Directions in a deliberate attempt to prevent her Supervisor from becoming aware that the Employees were performing weekend work “with the probable result that she avoided [the Supervisor’s] displeasure about those employees working excessive hours or during their leisure time.”
Accordingly, Commissioner Asbury held that it was reasonable for the Employer to lose trust and confidence in the Manager, and the termination of her employment was upheld.
Notably, Commissioner Asbury stated that “the recording of work time is an important matter, and has particular significance for the [Employer] in light of the nature of the work performed by employees [and] its obligations to ensure that they work reasonable hours.” His Honour accepted that the Employer had systems in place for recording time worked, and that it was critical for all employees to comply with those systems.
Under the Fair Work Regulations 2009, if an employee is paid at an hourly rate, their payslip must state the number of hours worked by that employee during the relevant pay period. Employers should consider training all employees on the importance of accurately recording hours worked on timesheets in order to avoid potential problems in this area.
For further information on the form and content or employee records and payslips, or avoiding liability for unfair dismissal in terminating employees for misconduct, please contact Nick Stevens, Victoria Sales or Liza Isho.
This article provides general information only. It is not legal advice, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Specific advice should be sought to take into account your particular circumstances. Stevens & Associates Lawyers is a boutique industrial relations and employment law firm. It has liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.