An early childcare teacher was dismissed by text message after she was told by her employer that she could not leave work early. The employee had inappropriately raised her voice when disciplining children and had become unduly offended when she was confronted by her employer about the matter.

The Employment Relations Authority upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

The ERA held that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer could have in the circumstances by not undertaking a fair and proper disciplinary process.

The ERA declined to award an amount for lost wages as the employee received a sickness benefit following her dismissal, and her loss of income was more likely due to her ill health and inability to work rather than her unjustified dismissal.

The ERA awarded the employee $3,000 compensation for humiliation and injury to feelings but reduced the award to $1,800 as the ERA considered that the employee bore 40% of the responsibility for what had occurred.