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Case Study 2

Advocating for Workplace Rights and Fair Compensation

Synopsis

This case study highlights an advocacy case involving the breach of workplace rights within an ASX listed organisation. The employee, a senior procurement manager, suffered significant harm and workplace stress when the company denied him approved leave. The allegations revealed a culture of systematic harassment, incessant communications, and a failure to respect the employee's entitlements, leading to undue stress and adverse effects on his well-being and family environment.

1. Breach of Workplace Rights

The employee's workplace rights were violated when he was repeatedly denied company-approved leave, including periods of paternity, carer, and annual leave. Senior management and colleagues engaged in a pattern of systematic harassment, bombarding the employee with incessant calls, texts, and emails during his designated time off. One particularly distressing incident occurred on the day his daughter was born, when the employee was subjected to an overwhelming stream of phone calls and texts, causing undue stress to his family environment.

2. Constructive Dismissal and Demotion

Upon the employee's return to work, his direct manager, in an intentional "blind-sided" manner, initiated constructive dismissal actions during their regular catch-up meeting. The manager failed to provide notice or an agenda, preventing the employee from preparing a defence against accusations of poor performance. Moreover, the manager neglected to clarify the employee's ongoing employment status and position within the organisation, leaving the employee in uncertainty and potential demotion.

3. Failure to Provide Support and Safe Workplace

Despite the employee's previous disclosure of stress and a hospital admission, the manager neglected to offer any Employee Assistance Program or support. The records demonstrated a disregard for the employee's well-being and failure to provide a safe working environment. The contraventions of workplace rights and the sustained mistreatment inflicted upon the employee resulted in prolonged injustice, harm, and humiliation.

4. Advocacy Services by Advocate IR

Advocate IR, acting on behalf of the employee, provided comprehensive advocacy services to address the injustices and negotiate a fair outcome. They managed all communications with the employer using a "without prejudice approach" to ensure fairness and justice for the employee. Throughout the process, the employee, dealing with stress-related illness, utilised sick leave while Advocate IR spearheaded the negotiations on his behalf.

5. Fair Compensation and Positive Outcome

As a result of the advocacy efforts, a resolution was reached that provided the employee with twelve months' worth of base pay, including superannuation. Advocate IR's fee structure was based on a percentage of the base pay only, reflecting their commitment to fairness for the employee. This compensation allowed the employee to prioritise spending quality time with his wife and child, while providing the freedom to seek a new job at a pace suitable to his needs.

Conclusion

By engaging Advocate IR's advocacy services, the employee obtained a favourable outcome that recognised the breach of his workplace rights and the resulting harm inflicted upon him. The fair compensation provided not only financial support but also allowed the employee to focus on his well-being and family during the transition. This case underscores the importance of seeking professional advocacy services to protect workplace rights, rectify injustices, and secure fair outcomes for employees.

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