A retail manager dismissed under a 90-day trial period has succeeded in her personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

The Employment Relations Authority found that the employee was already employed when she signed the agreement to a 90-day trial period.  Therefore the trial period could not apply.  The dismissal without a proper process was unjustified.  Lost wages of $11,000 were awarded.

The employer also claimed that the employee abandoned her employment by not turning up for three days without notification to the employer as required in her agreement.

This claim was rejected by the ERA because the employee had been off sick and had notified another staff member of her illness.  There was no intention to abandon her employment.  The employer should not have assumed she had abandoned her work without making contact with her first. The employee was awarded a further $6,000 for hurt and humiliation.

However, the ERA found that the employee contributed to her dismissal by failing to notify her employer directly of her absence, and failing to follow reasonable instructions on how to conduct the business.  All remedies were reduced by 70% for the employee’s contribution.