Fair Work Act 2009 Managing poor performance and misconduct


Each year in Australia several thousand unfair dismissal cases are brought before the Fair Work Commission. In 2012 to 2013 most of these cases involved payments to the employee. This highlights the importance of following the correct processes when managing employee performance and behaviour issues.

This course looks at how to appropriately identify and manage poor employee performance and misconduct issues in the workplace. It also includes a variety of resources that can assist you in managing your employees according to best practice.

Business outcomes

By implementing this course your organisation can:

  • gain the knowledge and tools to manage the performance of its employees according to best practice
  • recognise the difference between poor performance and misconduct, and manage these issues accordingly
  • reduce the risk of costly and time-consuming legal proceedings arising from unfair dismissal claims
  • protect its brand and reputation from damage arising from breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Topics covered

This course covers the following topics:

  • what unfair dismissal is and under what circumstances an employee may lodge a claim
  • what poor performance is and the correct process for managing it
  • what misconduct is and when it can be classed as serious misconduct
  • considerations of the Fair Work Commission in assessing misconduct.

Learning objectives

On completing this course, learners should be able to:

  • define the term ‘unfair dismissal’
  • list the considerations of the Fair Work Commission in determining whether a termination of employment was harsh, unjust or unreasonable
  • differentiate between employee behaviour that would be considered ‘poor performance’ as opposed to ‘misconduct’
  • identify best practice processes for managing employee performance
  • define the term ‘serious misconduct’
  • access targeted information outlining the management of employee performance and misconduct.

Target audience

The target audience includes any individual with a responsibility to:

  • manage employee performance
  • deal with disciplinary matters up to and including the termination of employment.

The target audience also includes executive/senior managers or board members who may influence decisions affecting the employment status of people in their organisation.


Approximately 30 minutes

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