CRT to pay $28,000 to former manager

CRT has been ordered to pay a former employee almost $28,000 after she was sacked from her job as manager at Balclutha.

A decision from the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) released this week said Karla Gilder was unjustifiably dismissed

as retail manager of the Balclutha CRT store in March. The ERA said Ms Gilder was sacked after advising another staff member to deal with bonus stock.

Bonus stock is stock which was not ordered by CRT but provided by a supplier for a range of reasons, both deliberate and inadvertent, it said.

Ms Gilder said bonus stock was used to offset losses with similar stock for stocktake or promotional purposes.

CRT denied bonus stock could be used to offset losses, and said it had a policy that bonus stock should ''always be placed into stock''.

The ERA said in early March Ms Gilder was on leave when another employee was carrying out a stocktake, finding 51 ''boost'' items when records showed there should be only 31.

The employee called Ms Gilder, who told him to record the lower number. He also said there was a shortfall in a similar item and was told by Ms Gilder to use the surplus boost to cover the difference.

The CRT regional manager was in the store at the time and became aware of the issue. He made inquiries.

A letter sent to Ms Gilder on March 8 concluded she had deliberately manipulated stock and inventory records.

Ms Gilder said she was acting in accordance with her training and observations. She said she had no knowledge of the policy, and had been relieving at another CRT branch when it had been distributed to staff.

Authority member Michael Loftus said CRT had breached its own procedures in Ms Gilder's dismissal and had not allowed her to respond to allegations against her.

He ordered CRT to pay Ms Gilder $19,732.80 in lost wages and $8000 in compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings. He reserved his decision on costs.