The main news story in the Herald this morning is the case of a worker obtaining $12,000 compensation after being fired for supplying cannabis to a workmate.
The tone of the story is – as usual for the Herald – pro-employer. Most of the story relates the employer’s side of the case.
That the Herald appears to have a pro-employer bias will surprise few who read it regularly. We are used to seeing attacks on the Employment Relations Authority, and claims that it is weighted towards employees.
The starkest proof of this apparent bias is the article buried to the side of page three. In that article a sacked DOC employee was ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay her employer $13,500. Why was that not the front-page article?
And the other thing that becomes apparent when you read the front-page article is that the result may not be such an outrageous injustice after all. Most employment lawyers will tell you that dismissing someone who has committed a serious wrong is reasonably straightforward – provided you follow the right procedure. Most cases where employers come unstuck occur because the employer has failed to follow the right procedure.
So instead of bleating to the media and the Labour Minister, perhaps the employer ought to take a look at its own actions.