The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal and for short payment of wages and holiday pay after an employee was dismissed with no process at all.  The dismissal by the employer was immediate and abrupt and the employee was not advised of any issues or given any ability to respond.  It followed therefore that there was no consideration of any response and the dismissal was unjustified.

The employee claimed the sum of $300 for hurt and humiliation as a result of the unjustified dismissal and this was awarded by the Employment Relations Authority.  However, if the employee had been represented he would probably have been advised that he could claim a much higher amount and that much higher figures are normally awarded for such a bad process resulting in unjustified dismissal.  He claimed $300 in this case, but if properly advised may have received between $10,000 to $20,000 in compensation for the hurt and humiliation suffered.

During his period of employment the employee was also short paid, because he was not paid the minimum wage and he was also not properly paid his holiday pay or sick leave.  A further $8,500 was awarded to cover those shortfalls.  Once again, if the employee had been properly advised, he may have applied for penalties to be imposed on the employer for non-payment of the minimum wage, non-payment of holiday pay and non-payment of sick pay.  Other cases have seen substantial penalties imposed on employers for those shortcomings, often with a portion of the penalties being paid to the employee.

Knowing your rights and options before launching into proceedings can make the difference between under-claiming and making appropriate claims in the Employment Relations Authority.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer