Dismissal over firewood not unjustified

A worker for Dunedin mental health provider Pact did not have a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal, the Employment Relations Authority has found.

Gavin Drew was employed as Pact's grounds and maintenance supervisor. He was dismissed for serious misconduct for dishonestly taking wood from his employer in 2011, an allegation Mr Drew disputed.

Authority member Christine Hickey said Mr Drew admitted taking two lots of firewood for his own use, but contended supervisor Ferdi Koen had given him permission, and was going to get back to him with a price. Mr Koen maintained he permitted Mr Drew to take a few bits of wood, and had not entered discussions with him about buying any.

Ms Hickey said while she accepted Mr Drew genuinely believed he was entitled to the wood, Pact was entitled to dismiss him, given the circumstances.

The matter of costs were reserved and the parties were encouraged to reach agreement.

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