In a recent case before the Employment Relations Authority, an employee claimed that she was unjustifiably dismissed by her employer following the tender of her resignation.

The employee gave the employer notice of her intention to resign.  The employer presumed that she was resigning to go and work for another business and dismissed her.

The ERA agreed that the employee was unjustifiably dismissed and pointed to the “complete lack of process”.  The employer should have, at the very least, given the employee notice of its concerns, advised of the right to a support person, explained its concerns, considered any response, and considered whether dismissal was the appropriate outcome.

The ERA also noted that the employee had the “perfect right to give notice of resignation and work for whom ever she wished” – subject of course to any restraint of trade following the termination of employment.

An employment relationship, in most circumstances, is an ongoing commitment.  Its termination can only come about in certain ways and, in the case of allegations of misconduct, certain processes must be followed.

In this case, the absolute lack of process and the lack of genuine grounds for dismissal cost the employer over $3,500 … the employee of three weeks only earned $14 per hour!

If you are concerned about any of your ongoing employment relationships, or would like advice on the appropriate way to deal with employee misconduct, please feel free to call us on 04 473 6850.