Meat inspector was fairly dismissed for poor performance

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Meat inspector was fairly dismissed for poor performance

A meat inspector who failed to detect and remove contamination from carcasses and generally failed to follow instructions was found to have been fairly dismissed.

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A meat inspector who failed to detect and remove contamination from carcasses and generally failed to follow instructions was found to have been fairly dismissed.

Deputy President Hamilton in the Fair Work Commission found in favour of the employer after hearing hearing evidence of a number of serious breaches by the applicant in relation to his assigned duties as a meat inspector.

On 5 March 2018, Alber Hana made an application for an unfair dismissal remedy. Mr Hana was summarily dismissed on 13 February 2018 from his employment as an Australian Government Authorised Officer (AAO)/Meat Inspector with Meat Inspectors Pty Ltd (respondent) for unsatisfactory performance. 

Mr Hana is an Egyptian national. He was issued with a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) after he was offered and accepted a position with the respondent. He entered Australia on 26 May 2017 and was employed by the respondent from 30 May 2017 until 13 February 2018.

The employer required Mr Hana to ‘perform final carcass by carcass inspection for critical pathology defect and gross contamination’ as outlined in the relevant job description. The evidence was that Mr Hana continually failed to identify and remove Zero Tolerance items (ZT) on carcasses.

Mr Hana ‘was warned about not filling in required documentation and he was also given a second verbal warning for leaving a dirty knife in a tub full of clean knives and for leaving steel lying in blood. He agreed that this occurred.

Mr Hana ‘messed up the rotation again’ and he ‘knew it was a mistake but did it anyway.’ The diary note further stated that Mr Hana was not taking proper action in relation to ZTs on carcasses and leaving it to the next person.

On Friday 9 February 2018 Mr Hana had not followed instructions and was reported by an employee and also by the host client for swearing, not following instructions and being wilfully and deliberately disruptive onsite. 

He had received multiple verbal and written warnings for misconduct. He conceded that he was given two warnings on 9 August 2018, that he had another altercation with a Leading Hand on 28 September 2017, that he ripped up a disciplinary record form he had refused to sign on 24 November 2018, and that he had an argument with a work colleague on 12 December 2017. 

The comission was satisfied Mr Hana failed to perform his role properly on more than one occasion and had inappropriate altercations in the workplace with supervisors and colleagues and this constituted a valid reason. 

The application for unfair dismissal was dismissed. 

The bottom line: An employer is entitled to dismiss an employee whose work performance is unsatisfactory. The determination of unfair dismissal cases involving alleged unsatisfactory work performance normally depends on the quality of the evidence presented.

Read the judgment


Alber Hana v Meat Inspectors Pty Ltd [2018] FWC 3656 (16 July 2018)
 
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