Xiaoqin Hua v Braemar Presbyterian Care (U2014/12080) [2014] FWC 8633, DEPUTY PRESIDENT MCCARTHY


This is a matter that started as a dispute between two employees. The Applicant in this case took home “private documents” that were for use in the care of residents, with the Applicant arguing that she wanted to prove (by these documents) that to her employee was not performing her duties properly.


However, this tactic backfired with the Applicant (a casual carer), dismissed for “the unlawful removal of company documentation from Braemar Village, containing private and confidential information of residents, for personal use”.


The documents in question were “shower schedules” and contained information on where the residents live, what room they live in, what care they had provided to them and also contained information on a resident who had passed away.

The DP stated (in part):


“Another reason the Applicant gave to justify her taking the documents was that the Respondent provided documents to third parties. The example she gave was the Respondent provided documents to the FWC for the purpose of these proceedings. The comparison of documents for proceedings of this nature being provided to establish a case in the FWC and the taking of documents by the Applicant is bizarre [my emphasis].


In the subsequent appeal, the [ex-employee] made various allegations against the business. The FB’s response was:


“The fact that the appellant has made a range of serious allegations concerning the standard of the care afforded to the respondent’s residents does not attract the public interest for relevant purposes because the allegations are not rationally connected to the…dismissal. [There was no] evidence which would support the proposition that the…dismissal was for the purpose[e] of “silencing” the employee concerning these allegations, and we can identify no such evidence ourselves.


“If the appellant wishes to pursue these allegations, then the appropriate place to take them is the regulator of residential aged care, which we understand to be the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency [my emphasis]. We do not consider that there is anything otherwise raised by the appellant’s appeal which attracts the public interest.”


Greg Reiffel Industrial Relations & Human Resources Consulting has been providing the following services to businesses for over 30 years:


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