Employment Relations Update

A matter of interest where the Employment Court overturned an Employment Relations Authority determination was De Bruin v Canterbury District Health Board. This reminds employers that it is important they conduct a full and thorough disciplinary investigation.

In this matter the Court found that an employee who was dismissed for attacking a patient had been unjustifiably dismissed due to the number of deficiencies in the employer’s investigation. The Court ordered the employee to be reinstated, and was also critical of the employer’s standard of investigation. This reinforces the legal risks and requirements in conducting an employment investigation, and that the responsibility for planning and conducting a fair and effective investigation sits with the employer. This investigation process will inevitably be subject to scrutiny by the Authority or Court when dealing with a personal grievance claim.

We are able to advise and assist employers with these processes.