The Employment Court has reinstated an employee dismissed for his involvement in a violent incident. The employee was a youth worker and got into a physical altercation with a young person in which the young person needed to be restrained. This led to a complaint that the employee pulled his hand back and was about to punch the young person and that the restraint was unjustified.

The employee’s personal grievance claim is set to be heard by the Employment Relations Authority in April. He applied to reinstate his position temporarily until the Authority’s judgment. The ERA refused to reinstate the employee pending the hearing of his claim for unjustified dismissal.

On appeal the Employment Court took into account the employee’s employment history and his previously clean record and the extent of the incident. It decided that the employee would not pose a health and safety risk for the employer or its clients moving forward. On balance, the impact on the employee of being out of work while he awaited the outcome of his claim outweighed the impact on his employer of having to pay him during that period.


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