An employee who worked as a Chief Executive Officer has had his personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal upheld by the Employment Relations Authority.

The employee had his position terminated after the business he worked for began to experience financial difficulties.

The ERA held that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer would in the circumstances by failing to adopt a fair and proper process when dismissing the employee. The employer did not provide the employee with information relevant to his ongoing employment, which meant that he had no opportunity to respond to that information. The employer also did not investigate whether a new employee had a substantially different role to that of the dismissed employee.

The ERA found that the employer had breached his contractual agreement by failing to give the employee a three month written notice of his termination or pay in lieu, and did not comply with his good faith obligations. The ERA also noted that the financial concerns of the business were undermined by the employer giving two employees a pay increase after the employee was dismissed.

The ERA awarded three months lost wages plus interest and $10,000 compensation for distress.