NZ Employment Court Orders University of Auckland to Pay $20,000 to Siouxsie Wiles; Details Here

NZ Employment Court Orders University of Auckland to Pay $20,000 to Siouxsie Wiles; Details Here

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Pallavi Pathak
Assistant Manager Content
New Delhi, Updated on Jul 9, 2024 11:02 IST

The New Zealand court has given judgment in favour of Associate Professor Dr Siouxsie Wiles and ordered the University of Auckland to pay $20,000 to her.

NZ Employment Court Orders University of Auckland to Pay $20,000 to Siouxsie Wiles; Details Here

Study in New Zealand: An Associate Professor of the University of Auckland Dr Siouxsie Wiles has won a case against the university. The Employment Court of New Zealand has ordered the university to pay $20,000 to the Associate Professor for breaching contractual obligations and not protecting the safety and health of the faculty member. The university has been given a time limit of the next 28 days to pay the compensation to Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

The microbiologist had filed a complaint in the employment court that while she was an important commentator and public advocate as New Zealand responded to the COVID-19 outbreak, she was harassed and was not given enough protection and security by the university.

While giving judgment, Judge Joanna Holden said, "I find that the university's approach to dealing with the circumstances of Associate Professor Wiles breached its health and safety obligations to her in that it failed to provide adequate protection and support to her," as reported by 1 News.

"Its obligation to be a good employer was also a term of the Collective Agreement and encompassed the University's obligation to act in good faith towards its employees. Therefore, I also make a declaration that the University breached its contractual obligations to be a good employer, including as a result of its failure to act in good faith," added the judge.

University of Auckland exacerbated the problems, said the court

The court agreed that the university also promoted her public work during the pandemic but felt she "bore some of the responsibility for the negative backlash".

The judge added, "Rather than assisting Associate Professor Wiles to deal with the situation she was in, the correspondence from the University exacerbated her distress. The situation was ongoing for a significant period, and the insufficient action and perceived lack of support caused considerable distress to Associate Professor Wiles."

Another prominent public health commentator during the pandemic, University of Otago's professor Michael Baker described the ruling as "a landmark".

"As a fellow 'Covid commentator' I appreciate the huge personal effort and cost that Associate Professor Wiles has put into taking this case to court. I assume that this judgement has established an important precedent for the responsibilities of employers in this area. However, as a non-lawyer, I will need to wait for expert commentary on the wider legal implications of this case," he said.

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Pallavi Pathak
Assistant Manager Content

With over 11 years of dedicated experience in the field of Study Abroad consulting and writing, Pallavi Pathak stands as a seasoned expert in providing compelling news articles and informative pieces tailored to the... Read Full Bio

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