13 Oct 2016

Man refused bereavement leave after foster brother's death

8:16 am on 13 October 2016

A worker refused bereavement leave to attend his foster brother's funeral has won his employment case.

New Zealand Steel Ltd has been ordered to pay the employee $1000 after it told him he couldn't take three days bereavement leave on the grounds it wasn't his "real" brother.

Cemetery

Photo: 123RF

Awa Minhinnick had known his foster brother Arnold Kaihau all his life and the pair were loosely related by blood.

When Mr Kaihau died in January, Mr Minhinnick asked for three days leave to go to his funeral.

New Zealand Steel refused after receiving legal advice that a foster brother did not meet the legal definition of "brother"under the Holidays Act.

He was allowed to take one day of bereavement leave and was forced to take the remaining two as annual leave.

The Employment Relations Authority said that was wrong, and ordered the company to reinstate those days and compensate Mr Minhinnick.