The Employment Relations Authority has rejected a personal grievance claim of unjustified dismissal of a Chief Financial Officer.  The employee was dismissed after an investigation into his writing off a loan to himself without approval of the Board of Directors.  The ERA found that the employee had breached his duties by writing off the loan to himself and that the process followed by the employer was fair and reasonable in its investigation and reaching that conclusion.  The employee was therefore not unjustifiably dismissed.

During the investigation of the allegations the employing company was the subject of a takeover and the new company was making offers of employment to employees of the first employer.  The employer who was carrying out the investigation of the alleged serious misconduct advised the new buyer not to make an offer to the employee under investigation.

This was held to be a breach of the employer’s duties under its employment agreement with the employee, because at that stage he had not been found guilty of any serious misconduct.  However, the ERA held that there was no loss suffered by the employee, because, by the time the new company took over the ownership, he had already been dismissed for serious misconduct.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer