Not leading by example


A law firm specialising in employment ought to lead by example in dealing with its own staff.

If it was fined for unfairly dismissing a worker it would lose the confidence of its clients.

So what happens when a union is fined for unfairly dismissing a worker?

New Zealand’s largest union has been forced to pay $5000 for unfairly firing a sick Wellington worker. . . 

”A fair and reasonable employer could have investigated better by persevering to engage Ms Kindell and assemble all relevant information from the appropriate medical sources before making a final decision.” . . .

A fair and reasonable employer could have and the court obviously thinks the PSA should have.

That the union didn’t could make it an unfair and unreasonable employer.

It could provide more evidence for employers who complain about the difficulty in complying with the process required to discipline or dismiss staff.

This case also gives more evidence to support my theory that unions often take a jaundiced view of employers because they judge them by their own low standards.

Unions are specialists in employment law and employee rights and ought to above reproach in dealing with their own staff.

It can’t help PSA members have confidence in their union when it doesn’t lead by example.

Process matters


Sacking an employee who sold produce for well below the real price ought to be simple.

But not it’s not if you don’t go about it the right way:

A Nelson fruit and vegetable stall attendant who sold her boss’s produce well  below cost was unjustifiably sacked because her employers didn’t tell her of  their suspicions, the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ruled.

Employment law has been simplified but it is difficult for employers to keep up with it, especially those in smaller businesses.

Sometimes they don’t know how to handle wrong-doing by employees and avoid confronting them.

But even when an employee is guilty of what is  a sackable offence process still matters.

However, what does it say about an employee who not only sells goods at well below cost, which is in effect stealing, but then thinks she still deserves the job.

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