Pharmacy told to cough up $3000 payout

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The Employment Relations Authority has ordered a Queenstown pharmacy company to pay a former employee $3000 for unjustifiably dismissing her. 

Queenstown Pharmacy 2008 Ltd dismissed Danielle Spark just over a month after hiring her as a retail assistant for its new business in O’Connell’s Shopping Centre in 2008. 

The company, which was struggling, told Spark there was no work for her, the ERA states in a decision released last month. 

The ERA says Spark “delayed bringing her grievance on for hearing because of the trauma of the dismissal and the subsequent effect that had on her life”. 

ERA member James Crichton says Spark was effectively made redundant, “but none of the usual requirements of a redundancy dismissal are present”. 

“On the face of it, Queenstown Pharmacy seems to have decided to ‘get rid of’ Ms Spark on the basis that she was the ‘last on, first off’. 

“But that is not a fair process if there were other possible alternatives which could have been scoped by some proper engagement between employer and employee.” 

Crichton has ordered the company to pay Spark $2000 in compensation under the Employment Relations Act, $1000 in lost wages and a $71.56 filing fee.