Where you have a redundancy situation, it often pays to take legal advice.  If a redundancy cannot be justified, the affected employee will have grounds for a Personal Grievance.

In a recent decision of the ERA, it was found that an employee had been made redundant without genuine reason, and following a flawed consultation process.

Most notably, 80% of the functions of the employee’s role had already been distributed before she was advised that redundancy was being considered.

Also the employer was unable to provide evidence to show that there were genuine reasons for the redundancy.  The only explanation provided was a general reference to the need for “efficiency”.

In a redundancy situation, NZ law requires employers to prove the redundancy was justified by showing that what was done, and how it was done, were what a reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances.

In this case, neither the ‘what’ (the disestablishment of her role) nor the ‘how’ (the process followed) were reasonable in all the circumstances.  Accordingly the redundancy could not be justified, and the affected employee had grounds for a personal grievance which cost the employer over $18,000.