Employer shells out after slashing staff hours

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A Timaru employee whose hours were systematically reduced before she felt compelled to resign has been awarded nearly $17,000 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).
 
Hospitality worker Lyn Carrington claimed her hours were cut back after new owners, Tayside Springs Ltd, took over at the Benvenue Hotel, where she had worked for more than a year.
 
She told the ERA that her hours were systematically reduced until her income was too low to live off. At the same time, she noticed new staff members were receiving more hours.
 
Carrington said she became increasingly unhappy and eventually resigned, despite having no job to go to; she eventually found employment elsewhere, three months after resigning.
 
Manav Soni from Tayside Springs Ltd said Carrington's hours were reduced because she did not want to work during the breakfast shift. She also told the EPA that the decrease in her hours corresponded with the off-season period between December and March.
 
The ERA found that Carrington was unjustifiably constructively dismissed, and suffered an unjustified disadvantage, and ERA member David Appleton stated that he believed Carrington was not offered enough work by hotel management.
 
She was awarded $16,741, comprised of $9,241 in lost wages and $7,500 compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to her feelings. Carrington was also awarded $71.56 for the filing fee she incurred.
 
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