We’ve seen a number of cases were a business has “hid” the genuine reason for dismissal under the blanket of a redundancy and this case is a warning to employers to be careful not to attempt to manipulate the redundancy process, when really all they wanted to do was fire someone, but didn’t want to go through the correct process.
Facing a claim for unfair dismissal, the employer told the Federal Court that the reason for dismissing the employee was financial, in that the business was running at a loss and had to make someone redundant to save costs
The Court found that the employee had previously made a complaint of bullying and intimidation against a new boss and argued that the connection between the financial position and the choice of that particular employee was tenuous.
The employer was fined $37,000 and the employee was reinstated to a position where she would not have to report directly to the person, who was the subject of her complaint.
There are specific employment practices insurance policies or management liability policies, which could provide some assistance in these sorts of claims, so make sure you talk to us.