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Employment and Migration Blog

Are you managing an entrenched conflict between co-workers?

Posted by on 29 Jan 2015

In a matter before the Fair Work Commission late last year it ruled that the termination of one of two workers involved in an entrenched workplace conflict was not unfair simply because the employer could have chosen to sack the other employee.

The decision to terminate one of the employees was the result of:

  • there being over a year of problems between the two, who worked in a small office together;
  • their relationship breakdown having a direct impact on the efficiency of the workplace, including their relations with the employer’s clients; and
  • the manager’s realisation (after over a year) that the conflict was likely to worsen and continue to cause ongoing problems in the workplace.

The Fair Work Commission made a point of clarifying the fact that the reason for the dismissal was not the conduct of the employee that was sacked, but rather the existence of the interpersonal conflict and the impact it was having.

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