Why is it good practice to provide an employee with an opportunity to comment, even when procedural fairness is not strictly required?

It is good practice to give employees an opportunity to comment before making decisions that employees are likely to be concerned about. This helps manage relationships and may identify new and relevant information. However, it is not always possible to provide an employee with an opportunity to comment before a decision is made.

For example: A manager holds the view that an employee is performing poorly and shouldn't advance a salary point.

The manager is unable to communicate their intended decision because the employee is on sick leave and in circumstances where they cannot be contacted. The agency has medical opinion about the contribution of work-related stress to the employee's medical condition.

The employee argues that there has been a breach of procedural fairness.

However, the employee had:

  • notice during the performance management cycle that there were concerns about their performance and
  • been given opportunity to comment and respond to these concerns at the time.

In this case, the manager's decision was procedurally fair even though the employee was not given an opportunity to comment further before the final decision was made.