Sacked by text? There has been some media publicity about this lately. What is the law? The Fair Work Act 2009 requires that notice of termination of employment must be in writing (sec117). Is a telephone text message (SMS) with that notice sufficient compliance with the Act?
In Guirguis v Ten Twelve Pty Ltd & Anor (2012) FMCA 307 the Federal Magistrates Court held that a text message conveying notice of termination was sufficient compliance technically, but there are several decisions of the predecessor of the Fair Work Commission, Fair Work Australia, to the effect that to do so may be regarded as dispositive of it being an unfair dismissal.
Fort example in in Sokolovic v Modestie Fashion Australia Pty Ltd (2011) FWA 3063 the then Commission determined that notification by text was inappropriate because there was no opportunity to respond which was a denial of natural justice but in Martin v DecoGlaze Pty Ltd (2011) FWA 6256 it was held not to be inappropriate because it was preceded by a proper meeting and the employee was in any event away on leave when the text was sent.