October 22

Written Warnings: The last straw? It’s different to the law in China!

As an employee, if you think you have been doing a good job, receiving a written warning can be an affronting experience. Whether or not your supervisor or first in line boss likes you or not is irrelevant. A warning at work still communicates to you that your performance is not up to the standards required by the organisation. Whether this is the case or not doesn’t matter very much once you’ve received the document and digested its content. See this article for a more in depth explanation: http://mcdonaldmurholme.com.au/written-warnings/

Employment law in Australia is determined by a litany of laws depending on the issue but the Fair Work Act specifically sets out the legal obligations between the employee and the employer. Included in the act is a section which refers to role responsibilities. Tied to the employee’s work responsibilities are measures of work performance. These measures are formalised legally by a combination of the description of their work roles & responsibilities as well as company policy.

If we were to simplify here, a written warning is warranted when the employee does not meet the obligations of their work role in some aspect. Also if the employee exhibits general misconduct. Audits of work performance occur on a regular basis in Victorian workplaces and are important to review the employee’s performance as well as set expectations on behalf of the employer.


However, in many workplaces the employer does not take a proactive approach to performance measures. Often the employee is completely unaware that their work performance is below the level expected.

McDonald Murholme, a prominent law firm in Melbourne explains:

“Often employees who have been fired come to us and explain how they had received a written warning ‘out of the blue’. In 90% of cases, the employee is not expecting to receive a warning. It should be the complete opposite if the working relationship is a healthy one. Unexpected written warnings occur generally because the employer has either not communicated performance expectations clearly enough, or because they are trying to fire the employee.’

Visit their written warnings page for more information.

Generally speaking it’s important that both the employees and employer’s responsibilities are clear otherwise mismatched expectations can rise to an occasion where written warnings can be issued and received expectantly by the employee.

For more information visit McDonald Murholme employment lawyers in Melbourne, Victoria

Category: Uncategorized | Comments Off