The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay an employee over $31,000 after unjustifiably disadvantaging and dismissing him.

The employer asked the employee to come into his office. During the meeting, the employer said he had been watching the employee through security cameras. The employer was concerned about the employee’s conduct and performance.

The employer suspended the employee, telling him to sort himself out. The same evening, the employer sent the employee an email stating that he should think about his future and role in the company.

The employee called the employer to discuss the email, but was told to look for another job.

The Authority held that the employee was unjustifiably disadvantaged by the suspension. There were no grounds raised by the employer at the meeting that warranted suspension.

Additionally, the employer was held to have unjustifiably dismissed the employee over the phone by telling him to search for a new job.  The Authority explained that there was no attempt at a fair procedure, so the dismissal was unjustified.

The Authority ordered the employer to pay the employee $16,806 in lost wages and $15,000 in compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings.

It is important for employers to follow the correct processes for addressing performance, disciplinary, or redundancy matters. Failure to do so may lead to expensive personal grievances.

If there are concerns about how to carry out a proper process, or if you think your employer has failed to carry out a process correctly, 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