The Employment Relations Authority has declined an employee’s personal grievance claim of unjustified dismissal, on the basis that he was not actually dismissed.

The employee worked for the employer for six months before he resigned. The employee had a disagreement with the employer about Personal Protective Equipment that the employee was required to wear. This incident led to the employee calling the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment helpline for advice.

The employee then took two weeks sick leave after obtaining a medical certificate, and resigned by email during that time. The employee planned to complete his notice period while on sick leave as to not have to return to the workplace.

The employer believed that the employee was resigning without notice, and so did not pay him for his notice period. The employee then brought a personal grievance claim to the Authority for unjustified dismissal.

The Authority decided that the employee could not have been unjustifiably dismissed because he chose to resign. The employer did not, by their conduct, force the employee to resign because of their conduct, so there could not be a constructive dismissal.

The Authority also decided that the employee had not resigned without notice, as his letter of resignation stated “this is my notice of resignation”. The Authority ordered the employer to pay the employee two weeks’ pay for his notice period and any holiday pay owing.

There is an important process which must be followed when dismissing an employee. If you are confused about this process, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley and Hunter Flanagan-Connors