The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for an employee after a serious health and safety breach led to his ban from the worksite.

The employee had breached the site health and safety rules by not wearing a safety harness while working at heights.  The site owner investigated and then banned the employee from the site.

His employer relied on the ban and advised him it had no other work for him.  The ERA held that the employer should have engaged with the employee because the ban from the worksite did not mean the employer automatically had no work for the employee at other sites.  These options should have been discussed and the employer should also have carried out its own disciplinary investigation and not relied on the site owner’s ban.

$3,000 compensation was ordered for the failure to consult with the employee.  No lost wages were awarded as there was no other work for the employee because of the ban.