An employee who failed to comply with a company’s COVID-19 vaccination policy raised a personal grievance of unjustified disadvantage in the Employment Relations Authority.

The employee claimed that both the delay in his dismissal, and the mandate introduced by the employer, caused him unjustifiable disadvantage.

The employee claimed he suffered undue anxiety and distress from the delay, and that not all alternatives were considered before termination.

Any unjustified disadvantage due to the introduction of the mandate was found to be justified as the introduction of the policy followed a reasonable consultation process and was implemented in the proper way. The disadvantage to the employee caused by the mandate was therefore not unjustifiable.

However, the employer’s delay in the final dismissal caused an unjustifiable disadvantage for the employee. Waiting 15 days to terminate his employment caused undue stress and anxiety to the employee.

Furthermore, dismissal of the employee was unjustified due to the failure to exhaust all other alternatives, such as paying the employee Holiday pay whilst he wasn’t working.

The employee was awarded reimbursement of lost remuneration for a period of 4 months and is to be paid $20,000 in compensation for the hurt and humiliation caused by the employer.

Failing to consider all alternatives before termination of employment comes at a cost to the employer, and can have detrimental effects, such as loss of self-esteem, to the employee.

This example shows yet again why it is critical to follow the correct dismissal process. The failure to do so can be unjustifiably harmful to an employee, and costly in both time and money for an employer.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley & Brianna Cadwallader