September 2019 MEMO

01 Sep 2019

Swearing not acceptable in workplace

In a recent Fair Work Commission decision an employee termination was found to be justified. The employee swore in a conduct meeting, refused to attend a debrief with a supervisor and told the employer not to contact them out of work hours.

The employee and union described the swearing as conversational however Deputy President Beaumont rejected swearing as conversational. It was stated by Deputy President Beaumont that there was with a long history of unconventional behaviour which the company had always tolerated.

The Deputy President stated at one point that the conduct was repugnant to the employment relationship.

Employers should ensure that they undertake reasonable process and deal with matters as soon as they arise.

Boris v Metcash Trading Limited T/A Metcash [2019] FWC 3993 (2 August 2019)