The short answer is it depends. If you have are convicted of high range PCA,(or other criminal offences) sometimes an employer can lawfully terminate your employment. In others they can’t .
On 1 July 2021, a recent court case dealt with this issue. A long-term employee of Sydney Trains was charged with high range PCA. He was driving his vehicle whilst more than four times over the legal limit. Ultimately, the Fair Work Commission found that termination of his employment was not justified . He was reinstated into his position.
Some of the factors considered by the Commission were:
- whether the offence was work related
- whether any policies were breached
- whether there is a direct role between his employment and the offence
- whether the criminal conduct involves out of hours conduct
- the nature of the applicant’s employment
- whether any subsequent loss of license would mean that he could no longer perform the inherent requirements of the job (such as taxi driving)
- any potential reputational damage to the employer
- His conduct in the investigation
- His length of service and any previous discipline or other issues.
The above list is not exhaustive If you are charged with a high range drink driving offence (or other criminal offences), it is best to obtain legal advice quickly. At Kells, our employment lawyers are able to provide you with the correct advice and the best outcome if you find yourself in this situation.
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