Employment record not a Simpl matter

Failing to confirm employment history isn't 'serious misconduct', authority rules

A former Simpl group employee has been awarded a month's pay following his dismissal from the company, as the matter that led to his dismissal — doubt over claimed employment experience — was classed by the Employment Relations Authority as a failure to meet a condition of his employment contract, rather than serious misconduct.

A claim by the former employee that he was unjustifiably dismissed was rejected, as was a claim by Simpl that he misrepresented his employment history.

In its determination, the authority said Hiren De Sai was hired as a solutions architect by Simpl in 2003 partly on the basis of his claimed experience as a group director at Microsoft's Redmond, USA headquarters.

A condition of his employment was that within 12 weeks of starting work, he must provide conclusive proof that he had done the work for Microsoft.

His employment contract also stated "if any false or misleading information was given or any material facts suppressed, you may be dismissed for serious misconduct."

During the 12 month trial, De Sai failed to satisfy Simpl that he had been a group director at Microsoft and the company began monitoring his work email.

The emails revealed he had begun looking for another job and had sent his CV out without the group director position listed.

Simpl held a meeting with De Sai to discuss the issue and, according to the determination by ERA member GJ Wood, Simpl managing director Milton Medary "accepted at the investigation meeting that even how he could not definitely say that Mr De Sai had misrepresented himself and that he could not prove that Mr De Sai had made false and misleading statements concerning his role at Microsoft."

However, at the same time, "Mr De Sai has been unable to provide confirmation of his role at Microsoft."

The upshot is that Wood classed De Sai's inability to satisfy Simpl as to his group leader role at Microsoft as a breach of his employment contract, rather than serious misconduct.

"Under the employment agreement between the parties, dismissal without notice is limited to serious misconduct.

"Mr De Sai's failure to confirm this cannot be categorised as serious misconduct; rather it was a failure to meet a condition of the agreement."

At the determination, made last month, Simpl was ordered to pay De Sai a month's notice, plus holiday pay.

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