An employee resigned from his employment after undergoing several disciplinary investigations in which he received multiple written warnings.

The Employment Relations Authority rejected the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified constructive dismissal. The ERA held that the employee had to prove that the employer had followed a course of action with the deliberate intention of attaining his resignation or that the employer had breached a duty owed to the employee which caused him to resign.

The ERA found that the employer did not breach their duty to the employee by bullying him. The employee was unable to note any specific instances of bullying and conceded that any remarks that were made were insignificant.  The employee never raised allegations of bullying with the employer, who was never given an opportunity to address them.

The ERA acknowledged the employer’s attempts to discuss and resolve the employee’s concerns once they became aware of his resignation and noted that the employer did not seek to terminate their employment relationship after the employee admitted to making an inappropriate sexual comment to one of his colleagues. The ERA held that these actions did not show that the employer was seeking to facilitate the employee’s resignation.

 

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer Wellington