The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for an unjustified dismissal after a worker was fired following calling in sick.

When the worker contacted his employer to say that he was unwell and could not come to work, he was told to “harden up or there would be no work for him”.  The employer then sent a text to the employee telling him not to bother turning up to work.  The employee took that as a dismissal and enquired about his final pay.  The employer failed to pay any final pay and did not try to dissuade the employee from his belief that he had been dismissed.

The ERA held that this was an unjustified dismissal and awarded $3,300 for unpaid wages, over $4,000 for unpaid holiday pay and $12,000 compensation for the hurt and humiliation suffered by the employee for the unjustified dismissal.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer