Industry Comment - Clayton Utz

Federal and State governments must act quickly to enact legislation to ensure responsible companies who terminate employees for improperly using email or internet systems within the workplace are not penalised by unfavourable appeals tribunal outcomes.

Such cases have fallen into the jurisdiction of industrial tribunals.

However, an alarming trend of inconsistent rulings citing inadequate email policies and a lack of staff education policies and termination procedures has emerged.

The increasing inconsistency of appeals tribunal verdicts reflects the rate at which technological advances have outpaced existing employee misconduct legislation.

Companies have a duty to their employees to target and eliminate issues of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace and therefore can ill afford to see inconsistent appeals tribunal verdicts undermine their progress.

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