Good reason

In order for the employer to have ‘good reason’ for the dismissal or disciplinary action, the employer must:
  • have a genuine work-related reason for the dismissal or disciplinary action, and
  • genuinely and reasonably believe that dismissal or disciplinary action is necessary or appropriate.
The following reasons are generally accepted as genuine work-related reasons that might justify disciplinary action, including dismissal:
  • repeated misconduct, or serious misconduct (i.e. some form of wrongdoing), and
  • poor performance – an ongoing failure to meet the reasonable expectations of the job.
An employer’s reasons for dismissal or disciplinary action must be reasonable to an independent and ‘reasonable’ observer. For example, it would not be reasonable to dismiss an employee instantly for a one-off instance of minor or trivial misconduct. However, if the employee has had sufficient warning and persists with the same or similar misconduct, then, after a fair process, dismissal may be reasonable.

The following reasons are generally also accepted as genuine business-related reasons that might justify a dismissal:
  • redundancy – a situation in which the employee’s employment is terminated because, for a genuine work-related reason, the employer no longer needs that position
  • incapacity – an inability by the employee to properly do his or her job, usually for health reasons, and
  • incompatibility – a fundamental breakdown in the relationship between employees which makes continuing employment unworkable.
Dismissal and disciplinary action are serious matters, and should not be taken lightly.

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These guidelines provide general information and guidance. The Employment Relations Centre does not accept any responsibility or liability, whether in contract, equity or tort, or under any other legal principle, for any direct or indirect losses or damage of any kind arising from the use of this guide. This includes any action taken as a result of reliance on any part or all of, the information in this guide. It is also noted that:
1. The Employment Relations Centre may change, add to, delete from, or otherwise amend the content of these guidelines without notice.
2. The Employment Relations Centre gives no warranties, guaranties or undertakings as to results that may be achieved from use of the information contained in these guidelines.
3. These guidelines are not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity nor are they professional or legal advice.