Posted on: Jul 14, 2014
Employers who are considering making employees redundant must properly consider any proposals put forward by affected employees. If this is not done the employer will not have acted in a fair and reasonable manner and any dismissal for redundancy may be found to be unjustified.
An employer who failed to properly consider a job share proposal put forward by two employees facing redundancy and who ultimately dismissed the employees from their current positions for redundancy was held to have dismissed them unjustifiably. The employees had proposed that three positions be disestablished (one of the positions was a fixed term position due to expire shortly) and one new position be created that they would share.
The Employment Relations Authority said a fair and reasonable employer would not have required the employees to engage in a competitive process for the new position it had created. The Member said given that the employees had jointly proposed that they would be prepared to job share the new role further discussion about the practicality of this proposal should have been explored with the possible intention of redeploying the two incumbents to the new role on a job share basis.
Neither of the employees actually applied for the new role and the Authority declined to award any remedies for the unjustified dismissal.
Singh v Counselling Services Centre  NZERA Auckland 179; Baker v Counselling Services Centre  NZERA Auckland 178
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