Mr Danny Vulic v Department of Human Services (U2014/8801) [2015] FWC 1872. DEPUTY PRESIDENT SMITH

Mr Danny Vulic was a Youth Justice Worker at the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct who was dismissed following what DHS found was misconduct by Mr Vulic where he used excessive force on a client.

The DP found:

“The decision to dismiss was based on the CCTV footage together with an earlier final warning for assaulting a client. During cross-examination, Mr McCann agreed that other members of the team dealing with the client also had their arms holding the neck or head.

“I have viewed this footage. This is a confronting environment and it is clear that a number of Youth Justice Workers had arms or legs around the clients face, neck and body. However, I also see that in the opening seconds of the confrontation that Mr Vulic appears to grab the client around the neck.”

The DP also applied the test in Bringinshaw v Briginshaw [(1938) 60 CLR 336] [my emphasis]. He then considered that:

  • Mr Vulic has a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Administration and this together with his training leads me to conclude that he is sufficiently aware of his role and responsibilities when operating in the Juvenile Justice System.
  • The other relevant factor is that Mr Vulic was on a final warning for physically assaulting a client in 2012.
  • The possible impact of the termination of employment on Mr Vulic’s career in Juvenile Justice.

And concluded that the termination of Mr Vulic’s employment was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

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