Employment issues again hit the headlines in the last month with cases that had gone before the Employment Relations Authority (ERA). And again, the learning is the importance of PROCESS when considering terminating an employee.
In Queenstown, a carpenter was awarded $24,500 after being unjustifiably dismissed while in Fiji attending the funeral of a close relative. He was only told his employment had ended when he contacted his employer to see why he hadn’t been paid. It was then that he was told they’d run out of work for him.
It can be pretty frustrating when you have a disciplinary matter to resolve and the meeting is persistently postponed because the employee’s chosen support person is unavailable.
What can you do about it? Do you really have to continue rescheduling and allowing time to lag on and on? The simple answer is no. Case law has shown us that while the employee does have the right to choose their own representative, this can not impede the process.
So, if you’re faced with this debacle, the best approach is to outline some options to the employee and put the ball in their court as to which one to choose.
We all know HR can be a real minefield if you’re not sure of the correct process to follow when you suspect an employee is up to no good.
It isn’t clearly documented in legislation, but case law has given us a great framework that should be applied whenever a disciplinary matter rears its head.
Below we have outlined the main steps of a disciplinary process: