Regardless of your political persuasion, it is fair to say that managing the likes of Donald Trump would present some challenges for anyone in an HR management role.Let’s face it, the guy has a somewhat “eclectic” CV which probably didn’t see him as the chief candidate for his current gig.
But let’s just imagine for a second that POTUS had a boss (other than the 400m odd American’s to which he is meant to be accountable to) and you were it… would you hire someone who you think would have such little regard for the established protocols? More importantly do you think you would let him pass probation?
Let’s take a look at some of his indiscretions during his first couple of weeks on the job and where they might conflict with an average SME’s workplace policies:
- impulsive Twitter rants which are largely misinformed (breach of social media);
- his views on key issues such as same-sex marriage (equal opportunity);
- climate change (recycling & responsible waste management); and
- who can ignore his unusually close association with Russian President, Vladimir Putin (colluding with the competition)?
I am sure that this would have been enough to raise a few red flags had Trump been applying for a job flipping burgers at Maccas, but it seems that the selection process to become President isn’t quite so stringent.
So as President Trump works towards his first 100 days in office, it raises some interesting questions for those in HR management. In particular, when can you dismiss a new employee? And what risks do you face in doing so?
Employment Termination: When can you dismiss a new employee?
Finally, some good news. A person cannot bring an Unfair Dismissal Claim if they are within the Minimum Employment Period (“MEP”) – hooray! The MEP is designed to give businesses the opportunity to try out a staff member and to move them on with minimal risk if they are just simply not working out.
For most businesses, the prescribed MEP is 6 months from the date of commencement (or 12 months for a small business). This means that a business can dismiss a staff member at any time within the MEP without the need to follow a proper process.
Although knowing that there is no risk of an Unfair Dismissal Claim will come as a huge relief, it is important to consider other risks when dismissing an employee, even if you are within the minimum employment period. The MEP will not stop someone from bringing a General Protections claim or a claim under Australia’s strong Anti-Discrimination legislation. Unlike an application for Unfair Dismissal, these type of claims are based on there being an unlawful reason for the termination and are often related to a particular characteristic of that individual (such as their race, age, sex etc.).
In some circumstances it may be advisable to take additional steps to establish a valid reason and protect the business. Other times, you’d be better off simply moving the person on and focusing your efforts on running your business. It will always depend on the circumstance s – which is why you need 24/7 access to experienced HR advisers like HR Assured.
For more information on the recommendations and what this means for you, and for assistance in with you HR Management, clients should contact the HR Assured team. If you’d like more information about the benefits of becoming an HR Assured client contact us today for an informal chat.