Breach of prison security procedures justified dismissal

Cases

Breach of prison security procedures justified dismissal

An employee's breach of a job’s fundamental requirements can be sufficient basis for dismissal.

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Key point: An employee's breach of a job’s fundamental requirements can be sufficient basis for dismissal.

Detail: A prison officer breached both the underlying reason for, and the specific wording of, a final warning he had received which required him to carry his identity card on him at work at all times.

The employer’s position was that the man had breached the most basic security arrangements in a prison: that is, ensuring procedures for the surveillance and internal movement of prisoners are followed.

The employer said the officer left a gate open and unattended and failed to check prisoners’ movement slips and ID cards. The employer’s view was that, however commendable it might have been for the applicant to try and obtain security intelligence, in doing so, he had failed to perform fundamental security functions which had to be carried out, especially in a maximum security prison.

The AIRC found that the prison officer’s actions, together with his breach of a final warning, constituted a valid reason for terminating his employment.

S Tanti v Group 4 Correction Services Pty Ltd– AIRC -  Cribb C – 16 March 2004.

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