HR unaware of back pain, redundancy fair

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HR unaware of back pain, redundancy fair

Taking two days off work due to back pain was not the cause of a worker's redundancy, a Federal Magistrate has ruled, in finding his work abilities had been fairly assessed.

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Taking two days off work due to back pain was not the cause of a worker's redundancy, a Federal Magistrate has ruled, in finding his work abilities had been fairly assessed.
 
The Futuris Automotive Interiors Pty Ltd quality technician claimed he was unlawfully dismissed in December 2008.
 
Although the company submitted the worker was made redundant because of a downturn on business during that year, he contended it was due to being absent from work for two days.
 
Redundancy criteria
 
The company's HR manager told Federal Magistrate Denys Simpson after an assessment of its South Australian operations it was decided the quality department would be reduced from 15 staff to just six staff.
 
The selection process was based on an assessment of the company's existing employees' skills, experience and attributes against the responsibilities and expectations of the positions required for the new structure.
 
The HR manager stated the company therefore focused on three key criteria: the employee's core technical skills (as required by the relevant positions); proven communication and leadership skills; and a demonstrated willingness and ability to cross-skill and adapt to change.
 
The worker was made redundant because he did not rate among the top six quality department professionals when assessed against that criteria.
 
Further, the HR manager stated his health was not an issue in the decision. She told the court that until the worker filed proceedings in the AIRC alleging that he had been unfairly dismissed, she was unaware that the worker had any history of back pain.
 
Failed to meet regs
 
Federal Magistrate Simpson accepted the company's evidence that the worker had been dismissed according to specific redundancy criteria.
 
Further, he found that the workers 'temporary absence' did not meet the regulatory requirements for providing a medical certificate within 24 hours after the absence as is required by law. Therefore, this ground for unlawful dismissal could not be relied upon in Court.
 
The worker's claim was dismissed.
 
 
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