A husband and wife have had their personal grievance claims for unjustified dismissal and unjustified disadvantage upheld by the Employment Relations Authority.

The husband worked as a General Manager in a restaurant alongside his wife who worked as a waitress. The employer accused the couple of stealing $8,000 from his credit card. The employer then dismissed the husband as he was not satisfied with his attitude and performance in the workplace. Subsequently, the employer refused to give the husband’s wife any shifts.

The ERA held that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer would in the circumstances as he followed no process when dismissing the husband and told the husband’s wife that if he dismissed him then her employment would also be terminated.

The ERA found that the husband and the wife were unjustifiably disadvantaged after they were accused of using the company credit card. The wife was also held to be disadvantaged as she was never given an employment agreement by the employer.

The ERA awarded the husband over $10,600 for lost wages plus $10,000 compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to his feelings.

The ERA awarded the wife over $4,900 for lost wages plus $9,500 compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to his feelings.