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Employment Law – Unjustifiable Dismissal

Very commonly seen in an employer/employee relationship is the allegation of “unjustifiable dismissal” being brought by an employee against the employer.

An employee may claim their dismissal was unjustifiable by invoking the provisions of s103 (1) (a) of the Employment Relations Act 2000, on the basis of a Personal Grievance. To base such a claim an employee needs to substantiate that he /she was dismissed, and that:

  1. The employer did not have a good reason for such dismissal; and/or

  2. The procedure adopted by the employer for dismissal was unfair or unjust.

Therefore important pitfalls which an employer should avoid when dismissing an employee is to follow relevant provisions in the employment agreement for dismissal. Most importantly an employer must ensure the dismissal is reasonably attributable to the work or conduct of the employee which under similar circumstances any fair and reasonable employer would also have dismissed.

If an employer fails to follow these basic guidelines there is a strong possibility that an employee could build a successful case against an employer for “unjustifiable dismissal”.

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