The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal after two chefs clashed over issues in a hotel kitchen.

The claimant asked to meet with his managers over the difficulties encountered in working with his fellow chef (who just happened to be the partner of the owner’s daughter).

The managers thought a mutual agreement was reached that the chef would leave and be paid four weeks wages.  The ERA held there was no mutual agreement to end the employment and that the chef had not been advised of any concerns the employers had over his cooking nor told a failure to improve could lead to a loss of his job.

The ERA awarded $5,288 lost wages and $7,000 compensation for humiliation.

If an agreement is reached then it should be properly documented and the best way to do this is to have it signed and formally approved by a MBIE mediator.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer