Unfair dismissal; valid reason for dismissal yet unfair

That there can be a completely valid reason to dismiss an employee, yet it may be held to be unfair is extremely well illustrated by Cannan and Fuller v Nyrstar Hobart Pty Ltd (2014) FWC 5072 delivered on 19 September 2014. This was a case in which the Commission agreed with the employer that there was a long history of the employees who were dismissed having been guilty of bullying their supervisor, namely “unpleasant, abusive, insulting, critical, undermining, persistent demands, obstructive, mocking, demeaning, belittling [and] humiliating” behaviour, yet that the dismissal was held to be unfair due to the company having turned a blind eye to it for many years and a flawed process which denied the employees procedural fairness. The case is also a warning to employers that despite what appears to have been great care having been taken by the company, it was still lumbered with responsibility for objective errors having been made in the process.