Queenstowner wins $15,000 for unjustified dismissal


A Queenstowner has been awarded $15,000 in a wrongful dismissal case.

The Employment Relations Authority has found that Kaye Symons was unjustifiably dismissed last year by software support company Wise.Net Trading Trust.

Symons is to be reimbursed $7,680 plus $384 in interest for eight weeks’ lost earnings – that being the length of time till she found a new job.

The ERA has also awarded her $7000 in compensation for humiliation and distress.

Symons worked for Wise.NET Trading Trust as an administration and support officer.

Her job was terminated in January last year after the business’ Australian parent company was adversely affected by a downturn in student numbers due a change in immigration laws.

The ERA found that the employer, in making her position redundant, did not comply with basic tenets of natural justice or with statutory good faith obligations.

Specifically, the company didn’t give advance notification of its action and didn’t consult with her.

ERA member Eleanor Robinson states: “I find that the abrupt manner of communicating her dismissal, and of which Ms Symons had been provided with no prior warning, had left Ms Symons in a state of shock and feeling numb.”

The fact another employee had overheard the phone call, in which her job was made redundant, added to her sense of hurt and humiliation, Robinson states, as did a comment by the parent company’s operations and retention manager that she should not have been left alone in the office after the call and should have left immediately.