The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal following a redundancy.

The employee sought and was granted leave to go overseas for his wedding.  During his absence his tasks were done by other employees and on his return his employer decided that he did not need the employee, because the work could be done by these other employees.  He advised the employee that he was no longer required and was being made redundant. 

The employer failed to go through any consultation process with the employee and therefore the dismissal was held to be unjustified.  The employer was ordered to pay lost wages plus compensation of $7,000 for the unjustified dismissal.

If the employer had gone through a consultation process he could have reorganised his business to work with less employees and would not have been liable for any lost wages or compensation.  It pays to get the process right when looking at a possible redundancy situation.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer