The Employment Relations Authority has found an employee was disadvantaged by his employer failing to properly implement its return to work policy following the employee undergoing major surgery.

While the employee was off work recovering from the surgery his employer commenced a restructuring process which proposed the employee’s position be made redundant.

Almost immediately on his return to work he underwent a series of interviews for alternative roles in the organisation but failed to be appointed to any of them.

The ERA held that the redundancy was genuine but that the employer had acted with significant indifference to the employee’s health and welfare and failed to follow its own policy to reintegrate him back into the workforce after his surgery.

As a result he was not able to prepare for the job interviews as well as he might and was therefore disadvantaged.  $20,000 compensation was awarded.