Process vs Substance

June 27th, 2004 at 10:48 am by David Farrar

Those with a background in employment law will know that there is a huge fixation on process, to the degree that if you sack on the spot an employee, they will almost win damages no matter what their conduct.

A good SST article talks about how a hairdresser was sacked for lying that she had a bereavement, when she actually went to the Big Day Out, and she won $2,000.

In the most outraegous case a Nelson seaman was awarded almost $10,000 for the Employment Tribunal for being sacked after he and his colleagues

*behaved offensively to a visiting tour party at the Rutherford Hotel (which was owned by the same people who part opwned their fishing company)
*took off with the female tour leader’s bag
* indulged in some cross-dressing, with one man donning her clothing and her pearls.
* one of the men urinated in the bag
* someone also vomited in the room.
* scored a direct hit on the assistant manager of the hotel then standing outside the hotel, by urinating out of the 6th floor hotel window on to him.

Luckily for once sanity prevailed as the company appealed and the Employment Court ruled “this was an extraordinary case of atrocious conduct where the lack of procedural fairness was justifiable”.

Good to see there are law changes planned to make life harder for certain legal parasites who encourage personal grievances, no matter the merits. Both unions and employers are supporting the change.

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4 Responses to “Process vs Substance”

  1. The Whig () says:

    David, I must strongly beg to differ. The whole point of a “no win no fee” lawyer is that they take on the financial risk. If their case does not win, they are the ones who suffer, not the employer, especially if costs are awarded.

    The problem is the grievance laws themselves. Reducing the amount of grievance cases by reducing and regulating access to justice is not the answer. As Co-Chair of the Classical Liberals you should be supporting equality before the law and the freedom of choice the market allows in determining remuneration for legal representatives. The laws themselves are the problem, not the lawyers.

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  2. David Farrar () says:

    The law change dos not ban no win no fee lawyers. It merely mandates that damages get paid to the client directly which is proper.

    I have seen enough of these lawyers to stick with my description of them as parasites. They encourage the most spurious claims in the knowledge that an employer who has done absolutely everything right will still rather pay out $5,000 than fight it.

    I don’t advocate banning them, but I’m sure as hell not going to encourage them.

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  3. Jordan () says:

    Everyone I know can cite abuse of these processes. Procedure is important but not to the extent that it leads to absurd outcomes. That is a problem with our adversarial justice system that goes way beyond this issue, but I bet the SC won’t be addressing the wider point…


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  4. scott () says:

    i was recently an employee of a company with a permanent employment contract.I was treated by employer as though i was on a fixed term contract in regards with them rolling over trial periods without stating reasons why.On top of this they also advertised my position behind my back and when i confronted them about it they lied to my face.Also they way they terminated my contract by email stating that due to the restructuring of my position into a wider ranging role.No oportunity was given to me to up skill to meet the requirements of the supposed new role.I took my case to employment relations and the case was heard how do you think i went??

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