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

 

Budget Policy Statement: Spending Wins Over Tax Cuts; Big Ticket Items Get Boost

Income tax cuts are on hold as the government says “responding to the earthquakes and reducing debt are currently of higher priority”, although election year tax sweeteners remain possible. More>>

ALSO:

Fishy: Is Whitebaiting Sustainable?

The whitebait fry - considered a delicacy by many - are the juveniles of five species of galaxiid, four of which are considered threatened or declining. The SMC asked freshwater experts for their views on the sustainability of the whitebait fishery and whether we're doing enough to monitor the five species of galaxiid that make up whitebait. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Smaller-Than-Expected Four-Month Deficit

The New Zealand government's accounts recorded a smaller-than-forecast deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year on a higher-than-expected inflow of corporate and goods and services tax. More>>

ALSO:

On For Christmas: KiwiRail Ferries Back In Full Operation After Quake

KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries are back in full operation for the first time since the Kaikoura earthquake, with the railspan that allows rail wagons to be loaded on the Aratere now restored. More>>

ALSO:

Comerce Commission Investigation: Prosecutions Over Steel Mesh Labelling

Steel & Tube Holdings, along with two other companies, will be prosecuted by the Commerce Commission following the regulator's investigation into seismic steel mesh, while Fletcher Building's steel division has been given a warning. More>>

ALSO:

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news