The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay $56,000 after deciding that an employee was constructively dismissed as a result of the employer’s actions.

The employee worked for the employer for over a year and eight months, when the relationship broke down. The employee eventually resigned based on failures in the employment relationship by the employer.

In her letter of resignation the employee highlighted that she had never been given an employment agreement, had never been paid for her extra hours worked, and had never received appropriate payments for public holidays that she worked.

The employee also cited poor treatment by the employer as a reason for her resignation. This treatment included a failure to communicate by the employer and her shifts being altered without explanation.

The employer never acknowledged the employee’s resignation, and did not pay her for her notice period.

The employee decided to raise a personal grievance claim of unjustified constructive dismissal with the Authority, claiming that she was forced to resign because of the employer’s actions.

The Authority had to decide whether the employee was constructively dismissed. For a dismissal to be constructive, the employer must have breached a duty owed to the employee, and the employees’ resignation must be reasonably foreseeable as a result of that breach.

The Authority decided that the resignation constituted a constructive dismissal in this case as the employer had breached their duties numerous times, and that it was reasonably foreseeable that the employee would resign as a result of these breaches.

These breaches included a failure to provide an employment agreement, a failure to provide a regular roster, no provision of annual leave payments, and no explanation as to why these issues weren’t resolved when the employer was well aware of them.

The employer was ordered to pay $36,000 in unpaid wages and holiday pay, as well as $20,000 for the hurt and humiliation caused by the employer’s breaches of the required employment standards.

If there is confusion about the required employment standards, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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