An employee working as a site supervisor has been suspended and dismissed after placing a portaloo on the worksite. The employee was asked repeatedly by his manager to remove it but refused to do so.

The Employment Relations Authority upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified disadvantage in relation to the suspension but held that the employee had been justifiably dismissed.

The ERA held that the suspension of the employee was unlawful as the employee was not consulted about the possibility of being suspended. The failure to consult the employee disadvantaged him by depriving the employee of the opportunity to have his views heard and considered.

The ERA held that the employee was justifiably dismissed as the employer’s investigation process complied with its internal policy documents. The employee was aware of his employer's concerns regarding his refusal to comply with instructions, and was given the opportunity to respond to those concerns. The employer genuinely considered his response before terminating his employment.

The ERA ordered the employer to pay $4,000 compensation to the employee but made no award for lost wages as the employee had been paid throughout the suspension period.