If you are looking for a warning letter template for Australian employers to help manage an underperforming employee in your organisation, HRwisdom has one for you to download for free now.
Whilst there is no legal requirement to provide formal written warnings, it is good business practice to do so. It will also strengthen your case should you ever be faced with a claim of unfair dismissal.
If it does go from underperforming or poor behaviour in the workplace through to termination and an unfair dismissal claim, the industrial commission will examine whether you warned the employee and provided a reasonable opportunity to improve their performance and conduct.
You should always seek expert advice in disciplinary matters because warnings may not be deemed appropriate in some cases of serious misconduct.
When disciplining an employee, the Australian Government recommends:
- Clearly identifying the performance or conduct issue. This involves looking at how serious the problem is, how long it has existed and what actions you are going to take to address it.
- Meet with the employee to identify and resolve issues before the situation becomes worse, clarify your expectations of the employee, and agree on solutions to improve the situation. During these discussions, it is very important that you do not set requirements or targets that are discriminatory, unlawful or otherwise unreasonable. Again, this is where professional legal advice is highly recommended.
- Your disciplinary letter should include the details of the performance or conduct issue of concern, what has been discussed with the employee about the issue, what the employer will do to assist, an action plan of what steps the employee needs to take, and a reasonable time frame in which the changes or improvements need to occur.
- Employees are not required by law to sign a copy of the letter.
Of course, regardless of how well your conduct your performance management process, the employee may still make an unfair dismissal or discrimination complaint or claim against you.
However, the better prepared you are and the more thorough you are in your processes, the better the chance of defeating the claim.
Warning Letter Template
If you would like to download a Government template for written warnings, click here: