Ke­bab shop or­dered to pay woman over sack­ing

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PAUL

A ke­bab shop that fired a woman be­cause she wanted an­other child has been or­dered to pay her a total of more than $60,000.

Zara’s Turk­ish Ltd, in Up­per Hutt, fired Guler Ko­caturk af­ter one of the busi­ness’ di­rec­tors learned she wanted to try for an­other child.

When Ko­caturk and hus­band Ibrahim re­turned to New Zealand from a two-month hol­i­day to Tur­key in Au­gust 2014, they were told there was no more work for ei­ther of them at the ke­bab shop.

But ac­cord­ing to the one of the com­pany’s di­rec­tors, Han­ife Kokcu, it was the Ko­caturks who de­cided to quit in Novem­ber 2014.

The Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Author­ity re­jected the di­rec­tor’s ev­i­dence as it would not have made sense for Guler Ko­caturk to have vol­un­tar­ily stopped work­ing.

It found ‘‘the dis­missal is pro­ce­du­rally un­jus­ti­fied’’, and or­dered that Ko­caturk be paid $13,338 in lost wages from her dis­missal, along with $7000 com­pen­sa­tion.

She was also awarded more than $40,000 for un­paid wages and hol­i­day pay en­ti­tle­ments.

She be­came preg­nant around the end of Oc­to­ber, af­ter she had been dis­missed, but could have con­tin­ued work­ing for at least an­other three months, the ERA de­ter­mined.

The Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Author­ity ... or­dered that Ko­caturk be paid $13,338 in lost wages from her dis­missal, along with $7000 com­pen­sa­tion.

It or­dered Zara’s to re­im­burse her more than three months’ or­di­nary re­mu­ner­a­tion, and also ruled she was work­ing 72 hours a week be­tween May 2013 and Septem­ber 2014, while be­ing paid only for 40 hours.

Ibrahim Ko­caturk was also con­sid­ered to have been work­ing 72-hour weeks since at least July 2010, while be­ing paid for 40 hours.

It or­dered Zara’s to pay him $16,194.36 in re­spect of pay ar­rears, and $4766.76 in re­spect of hol­i­day pay and statu­tory hol­i­day pay.

He claimed the un­der­pay­ments went back to when he be­gan as a chef in a Nel­son store with Han­ife Kokcu and hus­band Ugur in Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber 2009.

How­ever, the ERA said it could not con­sider claims that far back, and would as­sess them only from July 2010.

It de­ter­mined that Ibrahim Ko­caturk handed in his res­ig­na­tion af­ter learn­ing his wife’s con­tract had been ter­mi­nated.

He was of­fered his job back but de­clined, and said it would not be ‘‘log­i­cal’’ to work there with­out his wife.

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