Have you ever taken a sickie, thinking this is no big deal let alone something that you might get fired for?
Well, think again. The Employment Court has just confirmed the right of an employer to dismiss employees who take sick leave without there being a genuine sickness/injury.
He wanted to attend the New Zealand Secondary School Waka Ama Championships for 5 days from 28 March and had applied for leave over this period. At the time the leave was requested a different reason for wanting the leave had been given.
Mr Taiapa’s employer didn’t wish to grant the full period of leave. But as a compromise offered a period of 3 days leave from 30 March. Some of this leave was to be leave without pay due to the fact that Mr Taiapa had overdrawn his annual leave entitlement.
These suspicions justified the employer seeking the further information it sought and telling Mr Taiapa that if this information was not forthcoming then the employer would conclude its suspicions were well founded.
What are the lessons from this case?
Mr Taiapa’s decision to attend a personal recreational event without his employer’s approval/leave proved very costly for him. The case does show:
Jackson Russell provides service and assistance to both employers and employees on all aspects relating to employment law. If you need advice or assistance on a matter involving sick leave or any other employment issue, please contact our employment law specialists.
The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.
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Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER
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