The Employment Relations Authority has dismissed an employees’ personal grievance claim of unjustified disadvantage after finding that the employer did not act in a way that breached any required employment standards.

The employee transferred to a different worksite after working for the employer for a year. This transfer came with a relinquishment of his title, which he agreed to. The employee was then working as a less senior member of the team, but conducted fairly similar work.

The employer then hired a new employee who was the superior of the employee. This employee was hired to oversee the operation of seven worksites in the area, and their hire did not affect the employee’s tasks.

The employee resigned from his role in response, citing the fact that he had been replaced by the hiring of the new employee. He subsequently brought the claim to the Authority, claiming compensation for the unjustified disadvantage.

The Authority decided that the employer was completely within their rights to hire the new employee, and that doing so was not an attempt to replace the employee or downgrade his position in any way. It was decided that the employee’s role was not diminished, because the new employee’s roles did not overlap with the employee’s, meaning his role was exactly the same as before the new employee was hired.

No compensation was awarded to the employee, as the requirements for an unjustified disadvantage were not made out.

If there is confusion around the obligations and rights of each party in an employments relationship, it is wise to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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