Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Brightwater ordered to pay $77K over shoddy redundancy

Brightwater ordered to pay $77K in lost pay, compo over shoddy redundancy

By Paul McBeth

Jan. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Nelson-based Brightwater Group, which last year threatened redundancies over delays to Bathurst Resources' proposed coal mine on the Denniston Plateau, has been ordered to pay more than $77,000 to in lost wages and compensation over the way it laid off four staff in 2010.

Employment Relations Authority member Helen Doyle found the engineering firm ran a flawed and predetermined process in selecting who would get laid off after its contract with Solid Energy on the Stockton mine wrapped up, and wasn't in line with good faith obligations. The Dec. 17 decision was published on the Department of Labour's website today.

Brightwater had grounds to lay off staff as the Stockton project wound up and after two other major projects didn't eventuate, Doyle said in the ruling. The four men were part of 10 staff made redundant in the Brightwater workshop out of 54 employees in 2010, which has since been reduced to 22 as at August last year.

Where the firm tripped up was in the way it selected who faced redundancy by using a flawed skills matrix to rank employees, and without giving them any chance to dispute the list.

"I find that there was a fundamental unfairness and a breach of good faith requirements with the selection process used by Brightwater to select the four applicants for redundancy," Doyle said.

"There was also an element of predetermination because Brightwater simply relied on a skills matrix prepared some months earlier for the selection of employees for redundancy and were not genuinely, I have found, prepared to make any change to that matrix," she said.

It was "virtually impossible" for the men to "sensibly comment on the skills matrix" at their final meeting, and Brightwater's then chief executive Richard Herd made the final decision without giving them any opportunity to address him directly.

"The actions of Brightwater were not what a fair and reasonable employer would have done," Doyle said.

Brightwater was ordered to pay Brian Arrowsmith $18,224.09 and $1,115.65 to reimburse a cancellation fee he paid for a cancelled holiday plus 5 percent interest. He also received $22.40 from a lost Kiwisaver benefit, and $12,000 in compensation.

The firm was ordered to pay Stuart Arrowsmith $2,700 plus interest for lost wages and $12,000 in compensation, and Michael Colquhoun $8,643.69 plus interest in lost wages and $12,000 compensation.

Brightwater was ordered to pay Andrew Doocey $10,000 in compensation, though he wasn't entitled to lost wages as the ERA's Doyle wasn't convinced he would have kept his role, which was disestablished, even if the process had been fair.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Wheeler Downplays Scope For ‘Large’ Rates Fall

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler says some market commentators are predicting further declines in interest rates that would only make sense for an economy in recession, although some easing is likely to be needed to maintain New Zealand’s economic growth. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha Dam: Consent Conditions Could Mean Reduced Intensity

Legal advice sought by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the Ruataniwha Dam consent conditions has confirmed that farmers who sign up to take water from the dam could be required to reduce the intensity of their farming operation to meet the catchment’s strict nitrogen limit. More>>

Health And Safety: Bill Now Sees Rules Relaxed For Small Businesses

Health and safety law reform sparked by the Pike River coalmine disaster has been reported back from the industrial relations select committee with weakened requirements on small businesses to appoint health and safety representatives and committees. More>>

ALSO:

Bearing Fruit: Annual Fruit Exports Hit $2 Billion For First Time

The value of fruit exported rose 20 percent (up $330 million) for the June 2015 year when compared with the year ended June 2014. Both higher prices and a greater quantity of exports (up 9.0 percent) contributed to the overall rise. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: NZ Dollar Jumps After RBNZ Trims OCR

The New Zealand dollar jumped more than half a US cent after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler cut the official cash rate by a quarter-point and said the currency needs to be lower, while dropping a reference to criteria that justified intervention. More>>

ALSO:

Drones: New 'World-Class' Framework For UAVs

The rules, which come into effect on 1 August, recognise the changing environment and create a world-class framework that accommodates ongoing development while still ensuring the safety of the public, property and other airspace users. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news