29 Jul 2017

Fertiliser company ordered to pay $34k to sacked worker

4:33 pm on 29 July 2017

Fertiliser company Ballance Agri-Nutrients has been ordered to pay more than $34,000 to a veteran worker who was wrongly dismissed from his job.

Alastair Cowles worked at the Awarua plant in Invercargill for nearly 15 years before his dismissal last year.

Mr Cowles was sacked in February last year, two weeks after he was injured when his leg went through a gap in a walkway.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients said he did not report the accident to management - or the safety hazard the gap posed to Mr Cowles' colleagues.

However, Mr Cowles argued he had told a co-worker about it the next morning, and it was impossible to tell his supervisor, who was away at the time.

Helen Doyle, of the Employment Relations Authority, ruled in Mr Cowles' favour, and ordered Ballance to pay nearly $23,000 in lost wages.

He was also awarded just over $11,000 in compensation.