Daniel Smyth was fired from his job in aged care after it was found that he was attending a wedding when he was supposed to be on sick leave.
The South Australian aged care worker was caught out when pictures on social media emerged of him enjoying is time at a wedding in India.
Smyth had applied for leave to allow him to attend the wedding, but it was denied as he had only recently returned to work after an 81 day stint in jail over driving offences.
According to The Advertiser, when Smyth’s leave was denied he submitted two different medical certificates for the period of June 8 to July 18, 2016.
When the case was submitted to a South Australian Employment Tribunal, they determined that the social media pictures and posts were enough to justify the aged care facility to sack Smyth.
“During this period of time off, [the employer] became aware of Facebook posts that indicated Mr Smyth was in India attending the marriage of a relative of his wife,’ tribunal commissioner Paul McMahon said.
Smyth says that his trip to India was booked long in advance, and that it was merely a coincidence that his medical leave were on those same days.
It turns out this wasn’t the first time the aged care worker had exaggerating his medical conditions in order to attend a social function.
The South Australian Employment Tribunal were told that in January of that year, Smyth had taken two days of sick leave to attend his daughter’s baptism – once again, after his request for leave was denied.
Smyth admitted that he refused to answer questions from his employer when they asked if he had misled them in order to get time off for his travels.
Travis Hill, the general manager of the facility in 2016, told the tribunal that he believed Smyth had exaggerated his illness just so he could attend the wedding.
Hill says there was tension between himself and Smyth in their final meeting – reportedly acting ‘arrogant’ and behaving in a ‘you can’t touch me’ manner.
After deliberating over what each side claimed, Commissioner McMahon said that it was likely that Smyth was suffering from genuine illness at the time of his sick leave – however, the aged care home, as his employer, had reasonable grounds to suspect that they were being misled.
Moral of the story is that it is never wise to lie to your employer – especially if it in regards to leave or illness.
And be careful what you post on social media – you never know how that can return to cause damage.
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