The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay an employee almost $29,000 after he was made redundant in an unfair process.

The employer was facing financial pressure and decided that it needed to reduce its workforce. The employer gave employees a vague proposal document, and told them they should consider it over the Christmas close-down.

Three days after returning from the close-down, the employer decided to go ahead with the proposal and made the employee redundant.

The Authority held that although the reason for the redundancy was genuine, the process the employer followed was flawed.

The proposal document was not specific about what roles would be affected, what selection criteria would be used for employees to be kept in remaining roles, or that employees could get legal advice on the document.

The Authority emphasised that the consultation period was over a time that most law firms would be closed, making it difficult for employees to get legal advice.

Overall, the proposal document and process did not allow the employee to provide feedback, or know if his role was even affected by the redundancy.

The Authority also noted that redeployment options were not properly considered, an essential aspect in all redundancy processes.

The Authority held that the employer, by carrying out the flawed process, had unjustifiably dismissed the employee.

The employer was ordered to pay the employee $10,973 for lost wages and $18,000 compensation for hurt and humiliation.

When carrying out a redundancy process, it is essential to follow a process that meets all legal requirements, or risk facing expensive grievances.

If there are concerns whether your employer has followed the correct process, it pays to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced 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
Employment Lawyer