A WOMAN has been left outraged after she was sacked over being late on 96 per cent of days while working from home.
Suzie Cheikho, 38, had been working for Insurance Australia Group for 18 years before she was let go for “not typing enough”.
The work-from-home employee got the sack after her boss tracked her computer using special keystroke software.
Suzie said she was left “shocked and confused” even though ironically, her own remote working performance had fallen short after missing deadlines and meetings, according to The Fair Work Commission (FWC).
The former consultant had been on an improvement plan after concerns were raised about her performance and she had been responsible for monitoring “work-from-home compliance”.
During the review of her performance, after she was placed on the plan in November last year, her company used tracking software to count how many keystrokes she had been making during the day.
When they saw that the numbers weren’t reaching their expectations in February, they gave her the boot.
She reportedly admitted to colleagues: “Sometimes the workload is a bit slow, but I have never not worked.
“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.”
Suzie’s review lasted 49 days between October and December, News AU reported.
The shocking results found that she did not work her rostered hours for 44 days, started her shift late on 47 days, finished early on 29 days, and carried out zero hours of work on four days.
On the days Suzie did decide to log on, she had “very low keystroke activity” and recorded zero strokes over 117 hours in October, a whopping 143 hours in November, and 60 hours in December.
She averaged 54 strokes per hour over the duration of her review, which showed “she was not presenting for work and performing work as required”.
But the woman disputed the claims in a formal meeting following her surveillance and said she sometimes used other devices to log in when she had “system issues” on her laptop.
“Sometimes the workload is a bit slow, but I have never not worked,” she told her managers, according to the FWC findings.
However, the FWC found that when Suzie had a performance meeting with her manager on Teams, she had “F***” scrawled across her hand.
She explained that she had a “few things going on” due to an injury and 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 concluded that the evidence showed Suzie“was not working as she was required to do during her designated working hours” while monitored.
He found Suzie could not provide a credible explanation for the data to her employers or throughout the FWC proceedings.
“The applicant was dismissed for a valid reason of misconduct, I have little doubt that the factors underlying the applicant’s disconnection from work were serious and real,” he added.
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