The Employment Court has enforced a $26,000 order made in the Employment Relations Authority. The employer challenged the decision as they were of the opinion that this penalty was too harsh, and that it should be reduced to better reflect the actual harm done.

The employee brought the initial personal grievance claim of unjustified dismissal to the Authority after being dismissed by the employee for poor job performance and declining economic conditions. The employee was dismissed after just 2 months of employment.

The Authority decided that the employer was not justified in its dismissal of the employee, as they did not follow a dismissal process, which led to the employee being more confused and upset than if he had a clear understanding of the dismissal. The employer also failed to give the employee a chance to discuss the dismissal, and failed to explore alternative employment opportunities.

As a result, the employer was ordered to pay $17,000 as compensation to the employee, as well as $9,000 towards the employee’s legal costs.

The employer disputed this order stating that it was an unfairly high penalty given the circumstances. They claimed that their conduct was not severe enough to warrant such a large penalty.

The Employment Court found that the penalty was fair given the circumstances. The penalty was proportionate to the harm caused by the actions of the employer. The Court upheld the Employment Relations Authority decision, and ordered the employer to pay the $26,000 penalty.

If there is confusion around the employee dismissal process, it is wise to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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