Unjustifiably Dismissed by NZTR, Ordered to pay $80k

April 10th, 2024 - Barbara Buckett

ERA Determines Employee was Unjustifiably Dismissed by NZTR, Ordered to pay $80k

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has determined that a former employee of NZTR was unjustifiably dismissed. In the Authority’s determination, the unjustifiably dismissed employee was awarded $25,000 in compensation and $55,369.23 in lost wages. Buckettlaw is pleased to have assisted/represented the employee in winning their case.

The ERA determined the dismissal was unjustified because:

  1. The decision-maker provided contradictory and inconsistent answers during the hearing regarding what the employee was dismissed for.

  2. The complainant was never interviewed by the decision-maker, and more generally the decision-maker never heard from the complainant directly.

  3. The decision-maker did not test the credibility and veracity of the complainant’s allegations with the complainant, including after disputes of fact arose.

  4. The employer did not keep an open mind and conduct a balanced, impartial, and fair process.

  5. The employee’s responses to the allegations, and in particular the defences she put forward, were not investigated by the employer in any meaningful way.

  6. There were inconsistencies in the allegation regarding misuse of property and whether there was past practice to support the employee’s responses.

  7. Some of the information the employer received was never provided to the employee during the process.

  8. More generally, the inadequacies in the employer’s investigation were not minor and did result in the employee being treated unfairly.  

  9. The outcome of the employer’s process was a fait accompli (a predetermined outcome).

  10. The decision to dismiss was not one a fair and reasonable employer could have come to in all the circumstances.

The Employment Relations Authority also determined the employee did not engage in contributory conduct.

If you would like to read the ERA’s full determination, please find it here.

If you believe you have been unfairly treated in your employment, we urge you to contact Buckettlaw right away. We offer a free 10-minute initial discussion to ascertain whether we can be of assistance, and whether you may have a case. If in doubt, give us a call; you could lose your chance to file a claim if you don't raise a personal grievance within 90 days of the unfair event, incident, and/or decision.

If you are an employer that believes an employee has breached their employment obligations, or the company has received notice of a personal grievance from a staff member, please do not hesitate to contact Buckettlaw.

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

Enjoy a complimentary 15-minute phone call as a first-time offer.

Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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