Employer policies and unfair dismissal

“In Flanagan and others v Thales Australia Limited T/A Thales Australia. Flanagan and others v Thales Australia Limited T/A Thales Australia. (See also Queensland Rail v Wake PR974391 [2006] AIRC 663. (19 October 2006) and B, Cand D v Australian Postal Corporation T/A Australia Post [2013] FWCFB 6191 Commissioner Bull (as he was then) relevantly stated:
‘Having policies regarding workplace behaviour without providing adequate training for employees on those policies compromises employers’ efforts to improve workplace behaviour and reduces the effectiveness of a written policy. (see Caton v Richmond Club Limited). In the decision of SDP Williams in National Union of Workers and AB Oxford Cold Storage Co. Pty. Ltd the Senior Deputy President noted at paragraph 23:
Strict and inflexible adherence to and application of policy can and, often does, lead to unfairness. In my view, in determining to terminate Mr Millard’s employment, the employer gave undue weight to the application of its policy and insufficient and inadequate consideration to circumstances which might have justified the application of an alternative penalty. In this respect, I particularly have in mind Mr Millard’s record as an employee, the nature of the altercation and the lack of any injury suffered by either participant or onlooker and the likelihood that Mr Millard would act in the same way again. To have applied a lesser penalty than termination of employment would not have jeopardised the integrity of the Code of Conduct.’”
Engel v Central Queensland Services Pty Ltd (2017) FWC 87 delivered 5 January 2017 per Hunt C