ERA Member Craig prevents two employees from shooting themselves in the foot – by Tristam Price

Employer VZM sought, and was granted “by a fine margin” a non-publication order by Member Nicola Craig, which meant that Employees ITL and FMO were also anonymised. We don’t see anything abusive about this particular non-publication order.

ITL and FMO claim that they were unjustifiably dismissed, but VZM claim that they were made redundant on genuine grounds and followed a proper process. VZM operates in an industry that was particularly affected by the Covid pandemic.

The reason VZM sought the non-publication order is that its director JKT has a high public profile and the reasoning appears to be that VZM would be disproportionately affected if the parties’ names were publicised.

If high-profile director JKT happened to be an avid reader of our articles s/he would realise the dispute itself, over whether or not a redundancy process was defective, would be of little interest to Leighton Associates. But mainstream media could potentially pick up on it and damage the business and the job security of other employees, hence the application for and granting of the non-publication order.

Surprisingly the former employees opposed it. If Member Craig had gone the other way and declined non-publication, their real names would have ended up on the MBIE database and treated as a red flag by HR advisors as they shortlist candidates for a vacancy.

So while ITL and FMO didn’t get the decision they had applied for, even though the non-publication order is only interim we believe that Member Craig has done them a huge favour already.

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