The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a claim for unjustified dismissal when an employee was working out his notice period after resigning.  One week before the notice period was supposed to end the employer told him to leave the employment and did not pay him for the final week.  The ERA said that this was an unjustified dismissal and awarded compensation of $2,000 for the early notice, plus payment for the week that was unpaid.

The employer had also not paid any tax on the employee’s wages during the time he was employed and the employee had had to personally pay those to the IRD.  The ERA ordered the employer to pay the tax plus a further $2,000 compensation for failing to pay the tax.

The employee had also claimed that he was unjustifiably dismissed because of the actions of the employer in abusive conduct towards him.  The employee had, however, not raised any of those matters of abuse with the employer during his employment and did not mention them at any time including when he resigned.  This meant that the employer had no opportunity to respond to the allegations or to modify its behaviour in relation to any complaints.  That claim of unjustified dismissal was rejected.

If an employee has a complaint about the behaviour of their employer then they have an obligation to raise those matters with the employer at the earliest opportunity, so that matters can be resolved.  A failure to do so means that they will not be able to later claim an unjustified disadvantage or an unjustified dismissal on the basis of the employer’s behaviour.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer