Lyttelton Port wins decision in Employment Court
Lyttelton Port Company Limited (LPC) welcomes the decision of the Employment Court today, which has found the dismissal decision by LPC of its former employee Chris Arthurs to be justified.
LPC Chief Executive Peter Davie says the Company acted very fairly and reasonably as an employer during the long period the issue has taken to be resolved.
“We have been very patient and accommodating during what was a protracted process. The employee commenced uninterrupted sick leave from early December 2014 which continued for one year before dismissal. This was then followed by the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court process which has taken over two years. Following the ERA’s first ruling in April 2017, we were directed to reinstate an employee who was not fit for work. This was particularly challenging, especially as we had no indication when the employee would be able to return to work. Despite that unfitness, LPC agreed to pay the employee through until the decision of the Employment Court.
“It is a concern to us as an employer that the Employment Relations Authority originally found the dismissal to be unjustified. The employee had been absent for one year at the time of dismissal. The cause of the absence at the time of dismissal was a non-work injury which would not allow him to return to work for at least another year. Most employers in New Zealand would consider a dismissal for incapacity was justifiable in those circumstances.”
LPC notes that significant legal costs could now be ordered against the employee, however, LPC has decided to waive seeking those.