An employee’s personal grievance for unjustified dismissal has been upheld by the Employment Relations Authority.

The employee (an early childhood teacher) was dismissed for allegedly signing off incorrect time records which showed she was working with the children when she was not.

The ERA held the allegations had not fairly been put to the employee, that her request to meet with her actual employer to discuss the allegations should have been granted, and that the allegations had not been properly investigated and could not have amounted to serious misconduct justifying her dismissal.

The ERA awarded $16,800 lost wages and $10,800 compensation. The employer was also liable to pay her costs.

The early childhood centre is a parents’ collective, but this did not exempt it from having to follow a fair process, nor protect it from substantial financial costs.