The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal following a restructure without consultation.

The employer decided to contract out its manager role to save money and informed its manager that her role would be ending. It did not put this to her as a proposal and seek any feedback, but as a done deal. She therefore had no opportunity to respond to the restructure. She was dismissed on the day she was advised of the restructure and was paid out for her notice period plus two months wages.

This was held to have been an unjustified dismissal due to the lack of any reasonable process of consultation. The ERA awarded $10,000 compensation for this dismissal. No lost wages were awarded as the employee gained another position at the same salary during her notice period. If she had not done so the employer could have faced a large wage claim as well.

At the same time the ERA also awarded $7,000 compensation for the employer’s failure to properly investigate and deal with a personal grievance for bullying.  The employer had organised a mediation between the employee and executive member, but took no steps to investigate the allegations itself. There is a duty on the employer to deal with complaints such as bullying and not just leave it to the people involved to resolve.

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