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Unfair Dismissal costs $23k

Published 10 Nov 2015

An Auckland Sales Support Manager has won a $23,250 payout after her employer accused her of faking a back injury and fired her.

During the Employment Relations Authority hearing, the Employer said the Employee had faked her injury to avoid discussing the mistakes she had been making. The Employee was on ACC with an ongoing back complaint and had Doctor's certificate to prove this, advising the Employee to take a month off work.

The Employer went on to say the business couldn't keep the job open and needed to replace her urgently.

The investigation undertaken by the Employer and subsequent dismissal process was deemed unfair with the Employee never given an adequate opportunity to defend the claims against her.

Although medical incapacity is a valid reason to terminate an employment relationship there must be a rigorous investigation and every alternative explored and in this case the waters were muddied also with the inclusion of accusations of substandard performance. So failings on the side of procedure and potentially justification here sees another substantial payout for the Employer.