29 Oct 2011

Expert says tampering with employment laws confusing for all

12:43 pm on 29 October 2011

A personal grievance specialist says constant tampering with employment laws is confusing for employers and employees.

The National Party's election policy on industrial relations announced on Friday includes a review of constructive dismissal - the term used when an employee is not directly fired, but is effectively forced to resign.

National says frivolous cases are taking up the valuable time and resources of the Employment Relations Authority.

Max Whitehead is the chief executive of the Whitehead Group, which acts for employees and employers in disputes.

Mr Whitehead says a clearer writing of the law around constructive dismissal would be useful, but sees no real need for further changes.

He says as of April, the judiciary has had the option to dismiss a case if it is frivolous and this is probably the best means of dealing with cases which have no substance.

Mr Whitehead says when a claim of constructive dismissal is made, the onus of proof lies with the employee and about four out of five cases fail due to insufficient proof.