An employee working as a supervisor was dismissed after she refused to sign a new employment agreement which demoted her to a lesser position, of lower pay, and which had fewer hours, and was for a fixed term period.

The Employment Relations Authority upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

The ERA held that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer could in all of the circumstances by terminating the employee for refusing to accept the variation to her employment agreement, and for dismissing her in reliance on trial period provisions that had expired.

The ERA also held that the employee had suffered unjustified disadvantage in her employment as the employer had not fairly dealt with its concerns about the employee’s performance before offering her the downgraded position. The employee was not provided with full information about the basis for their concerns and therefore could not properly respond to them. The ERA also found that the employer had not given the employee an adequate opportunity to improve.

The ERA ordered the employer to pay the employee over $4,600 for lost wages and over $500 in wage arrears plus $8,500 in compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings.