News: Worker sacked over failure to use HR app

Employee Relations

Worker sacked over failure to use HR app

A workplace tribunal sided with the employer on dismissing a worker who faced a glitchy timetracking app.
Worker sacked over failure to use HR app

Beware: failing to clock in and out of your employer app can become grounds for termination, according to the latest decision by the Fair Work Commission.

Australia's workplace tribunal upheld the dismissal of a Melbourne-based cleaner after she had reportedly failed to sign in consistently on a timekeeping app managed by her employer.

Anarieta Virisilla, a former employee of Mermaid Cleaning Services, claimed she was terminated wrongfully because she was required to use the mobile HR app even without proper training. The app also malfunctioned frequently, she said.

Virisilla also said she notified the management of instances in which the timetracker failed, sending them a screenshot of the error message and submitting details of her work hours at the end of her shift, the FWC heard.

The company provided the employee with a 15-minute training session, but found that the worker still "persistently failed" to use the timetracker appropriately even seven months after. This eventually prompted the company to dismiss the worker.

The FWC learned that no other employee encountered the same technical glitches that Virisilla supposedly faced. 

"Ms. Virisilla was not diligent in her use of the application," said FWC Deputy President Alan Colman, upon learning the worker mismanaged her records for about two-thirds of her rostered shifts between May 2020 and October 2021.

"The company clearly warned her that this failure consistently to clock on and off was unacceptable," Colman said. "In my opinion, the company had a valid reason to dismiss Ms. Virisilla."

The purported negligence on the part of the worker supposedly had a knock-on effect on the HR department. 

"By not using the application consistently, Ms. Virisilla created a large amount of unnecessary administrative work for other people. This was not sustainable," Colman said, adding that the employer's patience over the lack of attendance records eventually "ran out".

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Topics: Employee Relations

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