The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay $7,000 after the unjustifiable dismissal of an employee. The employee brought the personal grievance claim after an argument with their employer.

The employee had been looking around for alternative employment when he found a job opportunity that he felt suited him more. Prior to applying for this position, the employee decided to inform his employer that he was contemplating a change in employment.

They got into a heated argument, which ended in the employer telling the employee that he was of no use to him and that he wasn’t needed anymore. The employee left the workplace, and immediately sent the employer a text stating his sadness over the fact that he had been fired.

After receiving no response, the employee followed up a few times, asking for a termination letter that he could present to WINZ so that he could find a new job. The employer subsequently sent a termination letter to the employee.

The employee brought the personal grievance claim shortly after the letter was sent.

The Authority had to decide whether the employee resigned, or whether he was dismissed. To determine this, the Authority had to look at the issue through the lens of the employee and ask whether it was reasonable to view the events as a dismissal.

It was decided that it was reasonable to consider the employer’s conduct to be a dismissal, as the employer stated that there was no use for the employee and did not correct him after receiving numerous texts from the employee about the firing.

The employer was ordered to pay $4,125 in lost wages, and $3,000 as compensation for the hurt and humiliation suffered as a result of the dismissal.

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


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