The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for an unjustified dismissal.  The employee was sacked for repeated errors at work. However, the ERA held that there was no proper investigation, as the employer treated the allegations as fact rather than investigating if they actually occurred.

The ERA awarded $18,000 compensation for the unjustified dismissal.  This was reduced from $20,000 because of the employee’s behaviour for swearing at a manager during the process.  She was also awarded two month’s lost wages (figure to be confirmed).

The employee was also awarded $5,000 for receiving an unjustified final warning on a previous occasion, because no proper performance process had been carried out which would have justified any final warning.

It is important to follow a proper process when investigating performance and disciplinary issues, because a failure to follow the processes required will result in an almost automatic unjustified disadvantage or unjustified dismissal and expose the employer to substantial damages and penalties.

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer