An employee was dismissed under a 90 day trial clause, which required the employer to notify the employee as early as practicable if the trial period was not going well.

The Employment Relations Authority upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified disadvantage as the employee was given no advice, verbally or in writing, before her dismissal advising her that things were not going well.

The ERA held that this failure disadvantaged the employee by denying her the opportunity to remedy any shortcomings in her work. The employer’s failure to communicate openly with the employee was a breach of good faith and was not constructive in maintaining a productive employment relationship.

The ERA ordered the employer to pay the employee a $7,000 penalty for breaching the employee’s employment agreement. No compensation was awarded as any humiliation, injury to feelings or loss of dignity suffered by the employee related to her dismissal rather than the employer’s breach of contract.