In a recent Employment Relations Authority case an employer has been found to have unjustifiably dismissed their employee after the employee questioned why his wages were not paid on time.

You can review the case at this link if you want some more information.

In summary, the employee noticed that his salary payment had not been made by his employer.  The next day he approached his employer to ask about the missing payment and an argument ensued. The employer told the employee to leave the premise and return the company property.

The employee was aware that his boss was prone to angry out bursts so decided to return the next day to discuss the situation. He met with the employer and was told that he was being made redundant.

The employee was awarded $12000 by the Employment Relations Authority but his compensation was deduced due to his contribution to the dismissal, as he knew his boss was prone to angry outbursts.

This case raises a number of issues for employers.  You must follow the correct procedure when making employees redundant – the ERA will not tolerate shoddy restructuring processes. Consultation is mandatory before the decision is made. Resignations made in emotional times – known as “heat of the moment” resignations cannot be taken at face value and the employer is responsible for ensuring that they contact the employee after such a resignation (usually the next day) to see if that is still their intention.

I know that as an employer when your emotions run high and things are heated it can be hard to make the right choice, that’s why having an independent impartial employment advisor can help you make the right decision.


If you need some help – call Tarryn 027 530 1255 today. 


Tarryn is an experienced Human Resources Manager with over 10 years experience in Human Resources in New Zealand.  She has worked at large organisations across a range of industries including FMCG, Construction and Retail.  She provides a practical and down to earth approach to Human Resources that stems from doing what works in the business rather than just implementing the latest trend. 
She has managed organisations through large scale change projects including technology implementations and restructuring.  She holds a Masters degree specialising in Human Resources Management as well as degrees in Behavioural Psychology and Industrial Psychology.