Employment Relations Act 2000 – Employment Relations Authority – Wages Protection Act 1983 – Holidays Act 2003 – unjustified dismissal – permanent employee
Grant v Carrington Resort Jade LP & Ors  NZERA 485.
Iva Grant alleged she was unjustifiably dismissed by one or other of closely associated registered companies Carrington Resort Jade LP and Carrington Holiday Park Jade LP.
Grant was employed by Carrington Resort Jade LP as a housekeeper in October 2019 and then entered into another employment agreement with its subsidiary company, Carrington Holiday Park Jade LP, also known as Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 Holiday Park, in November 2020. In December 2021 she was offered employment back at the Carrington Resort Jade LP.
On 13 May 2022, Grant was approached by the resort manager and questioned about the amount of time it was taking her to prepare the rooms. Grant reported this incident to the housekeeping manager, alleging the resort manager was “creeping around”.
The following week, Grant was informed the resort manager had instructed her pay be held back so he could check her work. Grant repeatedly requested a meeting but was told the resort manager was too busy. Grant was then issued with a four-page dismissal letter with one day’s notice and no reason for the dismissal. The manager also issued her with a trespass notice, which was shoved through a fence at the wrong address. These actions triggered a proceeding for unfair dismissal and for a determination as to what type of employment contract Grant had.
The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) determined Grant was a permanent employee, not a casual, as she had worked at least four days every week for up to 30 hours. Subsequently, the ERA found that a one-day termination was unjustified.
Carrington Resort Jade LP and Carrington Holiday Park were ordered to pay Grant $44,394 in compensation, lost wages, holiday pay and penalties. They were also ordered to pay the ERA $10,000 in penalties for obstructing the investigation.
Applicable principles: nature of employment – whether Grant was a permanent or casual employee – regularity of work and continuity of employment relationship –Holidays Act entitlements – whether the one-day termination was unjustified – whether employer’s actions were what a fair and reasonable employer could have done when dismissal occurred.
Held: Grant was a permanent employee and the one-day termination was unjustified.
Jasmine Jackson is an Auckland criminal defence barrister and a member of the ADLS Parole Law committee.