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Trucker who refused COVID jab gets big payout for unjustified dismissal

Employment news

Wayne Basher, a truck driver who was terminated from Big Chill Distribution Ltd for not getting vaccinated against Covid-19, has been awarded nearly $29,000 for unjustified dismissal.

The award includes $15,000 for humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings, plus $13,967 for three months of lost wages.

Basher, who had been with the company since 2011 and received multiple awards as a top driver, was dismissed on January 24, 2022, following Big Chill’s introduction of a mandatory vaccination policy amidst the spread of the ‘Omicron’ strain.

Basher argued he was dismissal was unjustified and without a fair and reasonable process. His role did not necessitate regular customer interaction and social distancing was feasible at his work locations, he claimed.

Despite Big Chill’s assertion that the dismissal was justified under their vaccination policy, the Employment Relations Authority found that the company failed to conduct an adequate risk assessment for Basher’s role or to consider alternative measures to vaccination.

Authority member Natasha Szeto criticised Big Chill for not providing Basher with sufficient information on the health and safety risk assessment for drivers and for not considering individual risk assessments or alternatives to dismissal.

While Big Chill was found not to have breached Basher’s employment agreement or its good faith obligation concerning his medical information privacy, the Authority ruled that the company unjustifiably dismissed Basher by not following a fair and reasonable process.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Nope, not a victory. This ruling is only half correct. The fact is this company DID fail its good faith obligation, and it DID violate his medical and basic human rights. ALL employer vaccine mandates did, regardless of the politicians decreeing them legal and the courts turning a blind eye.

    No employment contracts written prior to 2020 contained the words, “vaccine mandate”, I can assure you. Pushy/brainwashed employers taking coercive steps to make the jabs a condition of employment were in gross violation of contractual law; you aren’t supposed to be able to change the terms of an already signed contract without the other party’s consent, ESPECIALLY an employment contract. And they can point to vague provisions like, “the employee will follow all orders” etc, but again the specific words “vaccine mandate” never appeared in any pre-2020 employment contracts. A general principle of contractual law is that any ambiguity in a contract is always to the detriment of the party who draws up the contract (in this case the employers). ALL MANDATES WERE ILLEGAL. I don’t care how many corrupt government judges pretended not to understand basic law, the principles remain true.

    So this quasi legal body threw this guy a bone because the company didn’t cross all their T’s and dot all their i’s from a procedural point of view, but they still maintain that employers violating the medial rights of others is just fine and dandy. They dress it all up with fancy legal word salad to keep the plebs happy and make us feel like we finally scored a win. This was not a victory, sorry people. All they’re doing is cementing a few more layers of precedent for their upcoming “Next Pandemic”™️

    • The mandates were never Law
      They were a recommendation
      All it took was exploitation and those ready to play the game
      Which was the fake pandemic
      Heads need to roll

    • I’m noticing quite a few more of these minor concessions being made. While I totally agree with you re the illegality of mandates I am pleased to see more of these cases pop up. How many people will see this and think, oh maybe I can do the same… there will certainly be a whole bunch in similar positions. So not the best but the right direction. You never know if they continue they may eventually include good faith/rights etc. F gov!

  2. Michael Baker is ratcheting up all the fake narrative and hype as regards a worsening covid pandemic
    Which doesn’t exist only in the minds of the gullible
    Which in reality is a govt sponsored and paid for propaganda campaign
    In an attempt to soften us up as justification for signing the WHO Pandemic Treaty which is A Fraud.
    Which demands compliance for “Next Plandemic”
    Wise up to these devils and their deliberate obfuscation of the truth and orchestrated litany of lies
    Snake oil salesmen
    Don’t bow down to this tyranny of loss of freedom of free speech and loss of civil liberties
    NZ is over this low life the lies and everything they stand for
    Free NZ

  3. I agree, chuffed for Basher, but this is a total cop-out ruling!

    I was an Australian truck driver sacked for serious misconduct (yes, you read that right) in Dec 2021 – the employer’s reply to my Request for the Law for Mandated Vaccinations in Employment seeking production of the written law that requires of me to undergo a forced vaccination as a prerequisite of my employment was;

    ”… is not forcing you to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
    You have a choice.
    The decision whether or not to be vaccinated and, if so, when, and with which vaccine, is a personal decision for you
    … you need to raise these concerns with the … Government.”

    ..!

  4. If you had enough people just say no I do not consent, it would not have been able to happen.Trouble is to many went along with the lie, and as they say, the rest is history.

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