A woman revealed she was fired from her job for “not typing enough” after claiming her company installed software to spy on her while she was working from home.
Suzie Cheikho said she was left “shocked and confused” after being dismissed from her job at Insurance Australia Group (IAG) after 18 years.
The former consultant was responsible for creating insurance documents, meeting regulatory timelines and observing “work-from-home compliance.”
But, according to The Fair Work Commission (FWC), she had missed deadlines and meetings while working from home.
Her company said they were slapped with a fine by the industry regulator after she failed to file a product disclosure statement.
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According to the FWC, Cheikho was issued a warning about her behaviour in November 2022 and was put on an improvement plan before she was fired on February 20.
However, Cheikho claimed that IAG had a “premeditated plan to remove her from the business and that she was targeted due to her mental health issues.”
She was put on a review of cyber activity, which examined how often she pressed the buttons on her keypad on 49 days of work between October and December, reports NewsAU. Following the review, she was recorded to have started late on 47 days and did not work her set hours for 44 days. It also found that she finished early for 29 days and conducted zero hours of work for a total of four days.
Cheikho was found to have had “very low keystroke activity”, with zero strokes documented across 117 hours in October, 143 hours in November, and 60 hours in December. But she has disputed the claims and said she sometimes used other devices to log in when she had “system issues” on her laptop.
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The consultant is said to have admitted to bosses that “sometimes the workload is a bit slow, but I have never not worked.” She added: “I mean, I may go to the shops from time to time, but that is not for the entire day. I need to take some time to consider this and I will put forward a response.”
However, the FWC found that when she had opened a performance meeting with her manager on Teams, she had “F***” written on her hand. Cheikho explained that she had a “few things going on” due to an injury.
She said: “I have been going through a lot of personal issues which has caused a decline to my mental health and unfortunately I believe it has affected my performance and my work.”
FWC Deputy President Thomas Roberts confirmed Cheikho’s application for unfair dismissal was declined. “The applicant was dismissed for a valid reason of misconduct,” he said. I have little doubt that the factors underlying the applicant’s disconnection from work were serious and real”.
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