Telecom dismissal was 'unjustifiable'

Telco ordered to pay for hurt, humilation and injury to employee's feelings

Telecom has been ordered to pay a former Telecom Advanced Solutions employee $3,000 for hurt, humiliation and injury to her feelings after making her redundant when returning from maternity leave.

The Employment Relations Authority awarded Lisa Pamich, a former TAS voice team leader, the compensation in December.

Pamich was made redundant on March 2, shortly after returning to work from a years' parental leave.

Her supervisor wrote "I am writing to inform you that the role you held prior to taking maternity leave has been disestablished.

"This is a result of changes to the functions and activities of the Advanced Solutions business."

However, it transpired during the ERA hearing that Pamich was told at a meeting arranged by Telecom in February to discuss her return to work, that her role hadn't been filled during her absence and Telecom was considering disestablishing it.

ERA member Leon Robinson ruled that while Telecom told Pamich on March 2 that she was made redundant as a result of changes to the functions and activities of the Advanced Solutions business, "I am satisfied that those changes, functions or activities were never discussed with Ms Pamich.

"As far as she was told and what Telecom tells the authority, the position was disestablished because it was never filled when she went on her parental leave.

"That is not the justification eventually communicated."

Robinson says Pamich's input "was never sought in relation to the stated justification for her dismissal and therefore she had no opportunity to provide feedback on it.

"It must follow, then, that her dismissal for redundancy was unjustifiable because it was not effected in a fair and reasonable manner."

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