An employee working as a ministerial coordinator was suspended and then dismissed after he refused to make formatting changes to the signature block on a letter. The employee was directed to do so by one of the Ministry’s managers.

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

The ERA found that the employee had no plausible explanation for his blatant refusal to comply with the lawful and reasonable instruction of the manager. The ERA noted that in evidence, the employee accepted that he would have made the correction had he been asked to do so by his immediate manager who was lower down in the Ministry’s managerial hierarchy.

The ERA held that the Ministry’s investigation into the employee’s alleged misconduct and the dismissal process was exemplary in every respect. Accordingly, the Ministry acted as a fair and reasonable employer could in all of the circumstances by dismissing the employee.