Procedural Fairness – How VAHPA can help you
Whilst it’s not likely the first thing on your mind when you go to work, many Allied Health Professionals will at some point in their career receive allegations from their employer. These can range from under performance through to other alleged wrong-doing.
Workers have a right to what is called Procedural Fairness, however the VAHPA Member Assist Team often find that staff are not always afforded this basic human right. Recently we have found the number of such instances occurring has increased.
The process of procedural fairness is simple. The worker:
- Needs to know what it is they have allegedly done (or not) done; and
- Be given sufficient detail to be able to answer to the allegations; and
- Be given reasonable opportunity to answer the allegations; this includes sufficient time to consult VAHPA and prepare a response.
Lastly, the employer’s final decision must be based on relevant evidence and nothing else.
VAHPA has intervened with a number of employers, seeking better details for members. In most instances, the employers have provided the information requested, thereby enabling our member to better address the allegations. On other occasions, however, employers have had to amend their allegations or withdrawn them entirely.
In all instances VAHPA has been able to assist members facing allegations made by their employer and support them through the process.
As some of these processes involve threats of disciplinary action including formal warnings or even dismissal, VAHPA do not recommend that you try to navigate these processes on your own. In addition to being extremely stressful, the future of your career can depend on how these matters are managed.
VAHPA members have immediate access to our highly skilled Member Assist Team Industrial Officers. New members are likely to encounter a pre-existing issue charge of up to one year of membership contributions.
All Allied Health Professional invest enormous amounts of time, energy and money in their careers. It is vital that you are a member of the union in order to safeguard this investment and ensure that you have the support and representation to protect your rights to procedural fairness.
If you have any – and we mean ANY – questions in relation to these matters, we urge you to contact VAHPA on 1300 322 917 or via email. The sayings, “no question too big or too small” and “the sooner the better” definitely apply to these scenarios so please don’t hesitate to contact us.