Ranjeeta (Liz) Kaur v Metro Trains Melbourne.  FWC 5811. (U2016/6590). WATSON, VP, 18 AUGUST 2016.
The practice of clocking on and/or off for other employees has been consistently been viewed as serious misconduct by most employers. The matter is the first I have come across (in recent times) that has been the subject of arbitration.
In the view of the VP:
“Although it might be the utilisation of recently developed technology, the notion of payment being associated with clocking on or clocking off and recording of time of attendance is a longstanding workplace practice, and it is clear that whatever mechanisms are used to record attendance at work that there is an obligation to utilise those mechanisms accurately. In the absence of doing so, there is the potential for people to claim payment for time of non-attendance and it appears that that occurred in this case, and it was also facilitated in relation to other employees by Ms Kaur’s use of Mr Barclay’s roster-on card in particular. I regard the conduct, which has been admitted, and was found by the employer during the investigation to be a serious matter, as constituting a valid reason for the dismissal.
“There are further implications of leaving the workplace before the end of a shift and attending late when people are rostered on, and these are matters also of some significance in my view, in the light of the important public function of Metro Trains and its obligations in relation to safety of the public and the service of the public interest”.
The VP concluded:
“The breach of conduct and breach of policies are not insignificant matters and they go to go the heart of trust in an employment relationship and proper adherence to company policies…I consider that the requirements in this regard are very straight forward and very common workplace requirements. There could be no legitimate excuse for believing that the conduct in question should be tolerated or accepted in some way, or that there is no knowledge that the conduct could lead to serious disciplinary action”.
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