A Facility Manager of an Aged Residential Care Facility who, among other things, threatened to tie a resident to a chair if she did not remain seated and called out "dinner time, jellimeat for tea", has had her unjustified disadvantage and unjustified dismissal claims dismissed by the Employment Relations Authority. Following a spot audit, a DHB (who has a service agreement with the Facility) identified concerns about both the Facility's compliance with its service agreement and the Facility Manager, and decided to appoint a Temporary Manager. The Facility Manager was on leave when the audit took place, and was suspended on her return to work. The Authority agreed that the discussion with the Facility Manager did not amount to consultation, as a decision to suspend had already been made. However, the Authority noted that: "Justifiable suspension as an action is not ordinarily regarded as disciplinary in nature, as its proper purpose is to allow for the time and space, and in some cases security within the workplace, needed before the employee is given the opportunity to respond to allegations of misconduct or poor performance". The Authority concluded that, in the unusual circumstances of this case (which included the Facility's obligations under its agreement with the DHB and the "urgent and pressing" need to maintain the confidence of its residents and staff), suspension was "somewhat inevitable" and consultation was not required. The claim for unjustified dismissal was also dismissed, with the Authority concluding that the inquiry concluded by the facility was fair and reasonable, and that dismissal was an action that a fair and reasonable employer could have decided upon in all the circumstances. Gazeley v Oceania Group (NZ) Ltd  NZERA Christchurch 261
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