The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal after a worker was terminated during a probationary period.  The employer gave the employee several letters setting out their concerns and asked her to attend several meetings to discuss those concerns.

At the end of that process it dismissed the employee during her probationary period but after the end of her 90 day trial period.  The ERA held that no fair process was followed because the employer did not set out its concerns clearly to the employee about her performance.  It also did not support any necessary improvement to her performance and did not allow a period of time for her to meet those expectations.  In addition it gave no reasonable opportunity for the employee to respond to the concerns and there was no evidence the employer genuinely considered the employee’s responses.

Importantly the letter of termination had been pre-prepared and printed out with a date before the meeting about her performance and that showed that the matter had been pre-determined. 

The ERA ordered the employer to pay the employee $15,000 compensation for the unjustified dismissal plus $10,725 being three months lost wages.

It is important that employers get the process right when dealing with performance issues but the employer here failed at each step of the process.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price 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.