The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a claim for unjustified dismissal after an employee was told he was being laid off due to lack of work.  The ERA held the dismissal to be unjustified because there was no proper process followed by the employer.  It did not give the employee any opportunity to give feedback on the proposed dismissal for lack of work and the employer did not advise the employee he was entitled to a support person during the process.  The ERA ordered that the employee be paid $4,450 for lost wages and $7,000 compensation for the hurt and humiliation suffered.

If the employer had followed a proper process of letting the employee know they were considering having to lay him off due to a lack of work, had provided him with an opportunity to give feedback and to be assisted by a support person, then the dismissal would have been upheld as being justified. The employer would have not been liable for any lost wages or compensation.  It is important to make sure you get the process right if you want to avoid expensive lessons in employment situations.

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer