Egis unfair dismissal claim thrown out


Former environment and safety manager on Brisbane’s Legacy Way project was rightly dismissed, FWC confirms

Egis unfair dismissal claim thrown out
The Fair Work Commission has upheld an earlier decision in favour of Egis Road Operations

 

A former environment and safety manager with road contractor Egis has lost his unfair dismissal claim, for a second time.

Barry Harvey appealed to the full bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) after his original hearing ended in a confirmed dismissal.

He argued that senior deputy president John Kovacic erred in the original ruling, handed down on April 7, in part by relying on mistaken and irrelevant facts.

In particular, Harvey believed the reasons attributed to his dismissal – including his apparent inability to manage and work effectively within a small team – were not valid under the Fair Work legislation.

As manager of environment, safety and quality on the Brisbane Legacy Way tunnel project, Harvey had fallen into conflict with his immediate supervisor, as well as at least one worker reporter to him.

He had also voiced concerns that his portfolio recommendations were not acted upon by the wider organisation.

Kovacic found that these deteriorating relationships, together with a haphazard approach to working hours, were only part of the reasons for Harvey’s dismissal.

The manager had also been found to have used office time to work on a personal legal matter, and had sent threatening and abusive messages from a LinkedIn account that bore his position title and organisation name.

"The use of the employer’s name and his position title in a particularly offensive email … was profoundly naïve," Kovacic noted.

The three commissioners looking at that original decision found no reason to change it.

"Aside from this sweeping statement about the errors that the Senior Deputy President is said to have fallen into, Mr Harvey was unable to articulate the wrong principles that the Senior Deputy President acted upon," they concluded.

"The Senior Deputy President did not apply any legal principle that was disharmonious when compared with other recent decisions dealing with similar matters."

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