A café owner under financial stress sent a WhatsApp message to a full-time staff member telling her that her position would be converted to casual with immediate effect. The employee felt her rights were violated, and her job security threatened.

The FWC acknowledged the financial challenges of the business but held that the dismissal of the employee from her full-time role was unlawful primarily because there was no valid reason for dismissal related to the employee’s conduct or capacity. The way she was told on WhatsApp was also found to be unreasonable. The employee was awarded $5,879.63 plus superannuation in compensation.

Take Out Point: Financial struggles are not an excuse to not follow lawful termination processes…and don’t use WhatsApp in the place of conversations!

See: Hui-Ming WuvPaddy & Zees Pty Ltd

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