A woman who lost her job in a genuine redundancy has been awarded more than $15,000 as her employer failed to follow a fair procedure in dismissing her.
The Employment Relations Authority found Queenstown-based Wise.NET Trading Trust (WTT),a subsidiary of Melbourne-based Wise.NET Information Systems Pty Ltd, had been within its rights to terminate Kaye Symons employment because of financial difficulties at the parent company.
However, the ERA found the process used in making Ms Symons redundant was unfair and therefore she had been unjustifiably dismissed.
The authority heard that Ms Symons, who had worked for WTT for 10 months, was told for the first time during a conference call in January 2011 with Ben Hamilton, the manager of Wise.Net Information Systems, that she was being made redundant and should hand in her keys and leave the office that day.
Ms Symons' performance in the job was described by WTT as entirely satisfactory.
She was unable to find alternative employment for eight weeks following the redundancy and was therefore entitled to lost wages and interest of $8064.
She was also entitled to compensation for humiliation and distress because she had received no warning of her dismissal.
The fact that another employee had been able to overhear what was talking place on the telephone call had also contributed to Ms Symons' hurt and humiliation, the ERA said.The ERA ordered WTT to pay Ms Symons $7000 compensation for hurt and distress.
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