The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a claim for unjustified dismissal following a personal grievance claim.  The employee had been dismissed for dishonesty after the employer found the employee at his own private workshop when he was supposed to be off sick and when he was supposed to meeting with clients.

The employer failed however to put the allegations to the employee at any stage or to give the employee any opportunity to explain their behaviour.  As a result the dismissal was unjustified and the ERA awarded $12,285 for lost income, $15,000 compensation for hurt and humiliation plus $1,946 costs.

If the employer had put the allegations to the employee it’s more than likely the employee would not have been able to justify their behaviour and so a dismissal might well have been justified.  It was the failure by the employer to even raise this matter with the employee that lead to the decision being held to be unjustified.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer