Higher level of conduct required from senior employes

A higher level of responsibility is expected from senior employees in an unfair dismissal context.

“While a substantial and wilful breach of a policy will often, if not usually, constitute a

valid reason for dismissal,

14 there is an additional consideration that the Applicant was the

General Manager and Licensee responsible for ensuring compliance with the policy.

[2023] FWC 1516


[64] It is uncontroversial that an employer can expect more from employees in senior

positions. In Hocking v Public Service Association of South Australia Inc.,15 Stanley J of the

Industrial Court was considering a matter involving an applicant who was employed either in

the capacity of Administrative Co-ordinator (Industrial) or Industrial Officer of the Union, and

was dismissed from her employment with the respondent association following alleged

misconduct by her in removing and playing to unauthorised persons a tape of a confidential

meeting of the council of respondent association. Stanley J. held:

The applicant was a senior officer in the employ of the respondent. The executive and

council of that association were entitled to expect that they would receive loyalty,

trustworthiness and honesty from the applicant. On the findings I have made they did not

receive them.”


Wallin v Laundy Hotels Pty Ltd [2023] FWC 1516 delivered 27 July 2023 per Cross DP