Reasonable Administrative Actions

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Reasonable Administrative Actions

Mr Patrick Walsh, Director from DW Fox Tucker kindly agreed to partner with mlcoa for this session from a legal perspective.

Mr Walsh noted that it is risky managing people, and detailed some of the existing legislation that protect against such risk.

What is reasonable?

Determining what is reasonable requires an analysis of the:

  1. Objective (i.e. what is the reason for the action being taken in relation to the worker’s employment and/or claim); and
  2. Procedure (i.e. were steps taken to achieve the objective reasonable)

The objective needs to be fair and proportionate. Some examples are:

  1. Investigating an allegation of misconduct;
  2. Improve the performance of an employee;
  3. Restructure a division within the business;
  4. Ascertain the ability of an employee to perform a role safely and effectively; or
  5. Terminate the employment of an employee found to have engaged in misconduct.

If the objective is flawed, then the process cannot fix it!

Mr Walsh shared details and his thoughts on recent case outcomes and current proceedings, involving the Return to Work Act 2014, Fair Work Act and Regulations 2009, Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Public Sector Act 2009, Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) and Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).

In closing Mr Walsh provided common features of disputes regarding administrative actions, and provided some points to consider when responding to complaints and defending claims.

Positive feedback was given at the end of this event by attendees, with comments such as;

Well presented by Patrick – excellent, concise and efficient.

Factual information and various resources that are current and useful.

Enjoyed having a legal perspective.

Very interesting and relevant content. Easy to apply examples.

Very informative with useful information that will assist me in my role.

Good to have examples of judgements to go and read, and think about what to do in the future.

Patrick was an excellent presenter with a wealth of knowledge.

Presenter was very knowledgeable and provided valuable information regarding the topic.

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