The Power of Policies to Dismiss Workers

A Brisbane worker dismissed for falsifying a medical certificate has had her application for an unfair dismissal remedy rejected by the Fair Work Commission.

Ms Jisu Jeong worked as a sous a chef with Alpha Flight Services – a company that provides catering and retail services to various airlines – from October 2012.

She was summarily dismissed for breaching Alpha Flight’s Honesty, Integrity and Truthfulness Policy after the company found she had falsified a medical certificate provided to her by a doctor on 13 January 2016.

Ms Jisu Jeong claimed bullying and harassment from her line manager was the real reason but Fair Work Australia disagreed.

After management had confirmed the alteration of dates on the medical certificate with the doctor in question the company held 2 meetings with Ms Jisu Jeong in which she denied altering the medical certificate. She was then summarily dismissed from the company.

What does this mean?

In reality there are two important aspects to this case.

  1. Falsifying any documents is illegal and considered fraud especially a doctors certificate. It’s not the same and adding 5 minutes to your time sheet and should be treated seriously.
  2. If you have a policy about Honesty, Integrity and Truthfulness then you will be held accountable to it as you should.

It is good to see the Fair Work Commission enforcing the power of company policies because they are important for all parties. They clearly define the expectations of the company and set the bar so to speak on accepted behaviour.

So make sure your employee’s are aware of your policies and procedures, make sure they are clear and then make sure you enforce them.

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