Unfair Dismissal: Email policy breaches justifies sackings

Deputy President Sams rejected the employees’ argument that they had not been properly trained in using the company’s email system and in its code of business conduct. He said that the fact that no one had complained of being offended or harassed was not relevant as it was sufficient that the employees considered on a reasonable basis that the material was inappropriate.

He went on to find that the company’s policy distinction between hard porn and soft porn, namely that employees who forwarded hard porn were dismissible while those forwarding soft porn would receive a final warning, was fair and sensible.

The employee’s argument that the sending, storing and receiving of the emails was excused by the workplace culture at Wetherill Park was rejected.  Dairy Farmers had made it clear that the conduct wasn’t tolerated and might lead to dismissal.

Employers should ensure that they have a comprehensive email policy which covers workplace standards and consequences of breach of the policy.