An employee has received an order for $12,000 against her employer following a constructive dismissal claim.  The employee alleged that she had to resign because the employer failed to take her claims of sexual harassment seriously.

Her employer had investigated her initial complaints and took steps to keep her apart from her co-worker.  However, the employer failed to appropriately investigate or act on subsequent complaints of continuing harassment, leaving her no option but to resign.

In addition to the financial cost associated with paying wages and compensation, employers also need to be aware of the lost management time suffered when dealing with a personal grievance.  Even a small claim can involve over 20 hours per management team member in dealing with the employee, finding relevant paperwork, instructing and being briefed by your lawyer, considering legal documents before they are filed, attending a mediation, preparing for the Employment Relations Authority hearing and attending the hearing.

Getting the process right can save you a lot of time and money.