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Sherridan Cook discusses hurt and humiliation penalties

14 November 2017

Sherridan Cook, partner at Buddle Findlay was interviewed by the NBR.  The Chief Judge of the Employment Court has proposed new guidelines for awarding compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings (under s123(1)(i)(c) of the Employment Relations Act 2000), which signals a move towards greater compensation awards to employees.

In a recent case, the Chief Judge doubled a pay-out for a former Waikato District Health Board worker, who received this on top of her redundancy compensation.  The Chief Judge was satisfied after hearing from the worker that she has "experienced a deep sense of hurt."  If an employer is found to be acting unjustifiably, Sherridan says "you don't really have much control as an employer over what is awarded by the Authority or the Court to the employee.  That will depend upon the evidence from the employee on how badly the dismissal has affected them."

Listen to the full interview below.