The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay an employee over $18,000 after unjustifiably dismissing him.

The employee arranged two weeks annual leave with his manager almost a year in advance. The manager left after approving the leave.

The employee informed his new manager before Christmas that he would be taking leave. The employee went on leave after Christmas.

A co-worker delivered a letter from the employer to the employee while he was on leave. The letter stated that the employee had only been approved for one week of leave.

The employer claimed that by failing to return to work, the company’s business was affected and he had breached company rules. The letter ended his employment immediately.

The Authority held that there was no evidence to show that the employee had only been approved for one week leave instead of the two that had been approved by his previous manager.

The Authority also explained that the lack of any process involving the employee before ending his employment was a significant deficiency in the disciplinary process, resulting in the dismissal being unjustifiable.

The employer was ordered to pay the employee $6,825 in lost wages and $12,000 in compensation for hurt and humiliation.

It is important that employers follow the correct process when carrying out disciplinary processes. Failure to do so may result in expensive grievances.

If there are concerns around a disciplinary process that an employer has followed, it pays to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced 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
Employment Lawyer