Employment laws can be a bit of a minefield in that sometimes even seemingly small oversights in the way you behave or operate can have big consequences down the line. For example, if you are an employer it’s normally necessary to hold back on making decisions which have a material effect on your staff, at least until you have talked them through with your workers and have given them an opportunity to give feedback. But even then there are certain things an employer should and should not do.
When it comes to being dismissed (if you are an employee), or doing the dismissing (if you are the employer), the Employment Contracts Act has a number of guidelines. These include –
- asking what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances;
- asking whether the employer investigated things properly before dismissing the employee;
- asking whether the employer raised concerns with the employee before doing the dismissing;
- asking whether the employer gave the employee a reasonable opportunity to respond to concerns; and
- asking whether the employer genuinely considered the employee’s explanation before acting.
But these are only part of the equation and so it is best to get detailed legal advice on one’s situation before making decisions to dismiss someone or to seek compensation. Compensation can involve reinstatement of the employee or payment of a significant sum of money, or both.