Effect of Employee Conduct and Remedies - Employment Lawyer Auckland - Dukesons Business Law

November 2016

This Blog isn't legal advice – if you need legal advice on any employment law issue or on any business law or commercial law issue, please contact me. I'm a business lawyer in Auckland who provides advice on company law issues and on a wide range of business law or commercial law issues.

As an employment lawyer in Auckland, I have plenty of sympathy with small business employers who struggle to meet the demands of employment law in New Zealand. Laws are constantly changing and there is no shortage of employment cases. Still, the Employment Court has made an important decision on what bearing an employee's conduct has when they bring a grievance and seek a remedy. Employment lawyers wouldn't necessarily be surprised by the decision (but some may be).

Say an employee is unjustifiably dismissed because a proper dismissal procedure hasn't been followed, but the employee's conduct merited dismissal. If their conduct has been completely blameworthy, the ERA or Employment Court may decided to refuse the employee any remedy under s123 of the Employment Relations Act. If their conduct is blameworthy but it isn't so bad that they shouldn't get some form of remedy, then their remedies might be reduced under s124, but possibly by not more than 50%. (So if they might otherwise be entitled to say $10K, that amount might be reduced by up to $5K, due to their conduct.)

Subject to any pronouncements by the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court at some time, the Employment Court decision clarifies the law and adds some certainty.


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