An employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal has been rejected by the Employment Relations Authority.

The employee was dismissed by the employer for serious misconduct for breaching his delegated authority. The employee’s action breached the employer’s policies on gifting and sensitive expenditure, and had the potential to become a conflict of interest for the employee when he undertook further work for the client.

The ERA found that the employer had acted as a fair and reasonable employer could in all of the circumstances.

The ERA was satisfied that the employee had received full information about the allegations and had been provided with an opportunity for representation and a chance to respond to the allegations. Adjournments were taken throughout the disciplinary meetings to allow the employer to consider the employee’s explanations and to conduct further enquiries. The employee was aware of the seriousness of the investigation and that it could lead to his dismissal. The employee was advised by the employer of the preliminary findings and was advised of the proposal to terminate his employment. The employee was given a chance to consider the proposal and an opportunity to comment on it.

The ERA held that the employee’s dismissal was justified and that the process followed by the employer contained no elements of unfairness.

The employee was ordered to pay $4,500 towards the employer’s costs.

It is important that you seek legal advice prior to making an application to the ERA so that you can have an objective third party weigh up your chances of success. If you are unsuccessful you may potentially be liable to pay or contribute to the other party’s legal fees.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer