An Audi employee has won his unfair dismissal claim and almost $10,000 compensation after being sacked based on a series of poor customer survey results.
The Fair Work Commission was critical of the way the company handled the dismissal describing it as “inherently unfair”.
Kris Brennan worked for the Audi dealership at Indooroopilly in Brisbane since May 2017.
He was paid a base salary of $47,000 plus superannuation, and a monthly 1 per cent bonus if he met certain performance targets.
Customer survey forms
Customers at the dealership were invited to share their experience by way of an optional survey.
The survey asked five questions, and asked the customers to give each a score between one (worst) and five (best).
The results of the completed surveys were averaged and used to formulate a Customer Service Marker (CSM).
A score above 4.5 out of 5 entitled workers to receive their commission bonus for the month.
First and final warning
In January 2019, Mr Brennan was given a first and final warning letter.
He was told his survey results, which varied from 4.1 to 4.5, were below the national benchmark and in the bottom half of service advisers across all Audi dealerships.
On March 22, Mr Brennan was dismissed.
His manager, Daniel Nicholson, claimed he had seen Mr Brennan being “short” with customers, and not making eye contact, and also said he arrived at work one day in a shirt that had not been ironed.
Worker argued he should not be responsible for survey results
Mr Brennan filed a claim for unfair dismissal, arguing that he should not be held personally responsible for the poor customer feedback because it could have been the result of work done on a customer’s vehicle which was outside his control.
Commissioner Jennifer Hunt agreed, noting that Mr Brennan’s scores “were improving” and highlighted the “inherent unfairness” of attributing the entire customer service experience to the service adviser alone.
She was critical of the way the Audi dealership handled the dismissal.
“For such a large organisation not have some human resource management specialists is astounding,” she said.
Ms Hunt also found it was unfair of the dealership to require Mr Brennan to rank in the top 50 per cent of all service advisers across the country.
“While it is certainly a virtuous goal… mathematics requires that half of the employees will [also] be in the bottom half,” she said.
Audi was ordered to pay Mr Brennen $9,134 compensation plus super.
If you have been unfairly dismissed from employment, you may be entitled to compensation or reinstatement.
But you only have 21 days to make a claim, so don’t delay!
Please call our specialist team at Industrial Relations Claims today on
1300 045 466