RSA told to pay late wages, com­pen­sa­tion

The Dominion Post - - News - TOMMY LIV­INGSTON

Gis­borne RSA has been caught out not pay­ing com­pen­sa­tion to a for­mer em­ployee who won a per­sonal griev­ance case.

Last year, Janette Ch­es­nutt took Gis­borne Re­turned and Ser­vices’ As­so­ci­a­tion (RSA) to the Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Au­thor­ity (ERA) over a botched dis­ci­plinary process.

The ERA awarded in her favour in Oc­to­ber, or­der­ing Gis­borne RSA to pay $3026 for wage re­im­burse­ments, and $6000 com­pen­sa­tion for hu­mil­i­a­tion and loss of dig­nity.

The RSA had 28 days to pay. But it did not cough up, lead­ing to the ERA again or­der­ing that the as­so­ci­a­tion pay Ch­es­nutt.

In a de­ci­sion re­leased on Wed­nes­day, the ERA told the as­so­ci­a­tion it needed to pay within 14 days, even though it planned to ap­peal the orig­i­nal de­ci­sion.

Gis­borne RSA president Ben Ta­hata yes­ter­day said the money had not been paid be­cause an ap­peal had been lodged by the as­so­ci­a­tion in the Em­ploy­ment Court.

‘‘The in­ten­tion of the RSA is to con­tinue to file an ob­jec­tion to the whole ERA de­ci­sion, and that is in the process,’’ he said. ‘‘The de­ci­sion to the new ap­pli­ca­tion is still to be heard, so we will not be pay­ing.’’

Ch­es­nutt’s ad­vo­cate, Michelle Eng­land, said Ta­hata was wrong, and had been told so nu­mer­ous times by the court.

‘‘The rules state a chal­lenge does not op­er­ate as a stay. We will be tak­ing fur­ther ac­tion in the courts to en­force fur­ther pay­ments if the RSA doesn’t pay.’’

Ch­es­nutt’s com­plaint in the orig­i­nal ERA de­ci­sion cen­tred on how Ta­hata had treated her, and the con­cerns he raised about her work habits.

When Ch­es­nutt took sick leave be­cause of stress caused by her work en­vi­ron­ment, Ta­hata re­fused to pay her and the RSA deemed her med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate ‘‘in­valid’’.

Ch­es­nutt was also banned from re­turn­ing to work, her hours were re­duced and her job ad­ver­tised while she was still in the role.

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