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

 

Trade Plans: Prime Minister's Speech To International Business Forum

"The work to improve public services, build infrastructure, and solve social problems is possible only because we have enjoyed sustained, solid economic growth. A big reason for that is the Government’s consistent agenda of economic reform, and our determination to open up more opportunities for trade with the world." More>>

ALSO:

Media: TVNZ Flags Job Cuts To Arrest Profit Decline

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said the changes were aimed at creating "a sustainable future video content business for TVNZ in an ever-changing media market." More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: Wheeler Keeps OCR At 1.75%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate unchanged at 1.75 percent, as expected, and reiterated his view that the benchmark rate doesn't need shifting for the foreseeable future. More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Pumpkin Patch Brand, IP Sold To Catch Group

The receivers of failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch have confirmed that the company's brand and intellectual property have been sold to Australian online retailer Catch Group. More>>

ALSO:

Oil: 2017 Block Offer Petroleum Tender Launched

New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of the economic benefits of oil and gas exploration, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins announced today at the launch of the 2017 Block Offer petroleum tender. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news