A frontline border worker sacked because she refused the Covid-19 vaccine was not unjustifiably dismissed, the Employment Relations Authority says.
The Customs employee found herself without a job at the end of April when the government's requirement for all frontline border workers to be vaccinated kicked in.
She took her case to the ERA, claiming her job at a maritime port role didn't fall into the frontline border worker category, so she didn't need to be vaccinated.
In its decision, the ERA says the worker refused to provide more details about why she didn't want the jab, and was seeking reinstatement in her old job.
But the ERA disagreed with the woman, saying Customs was right in determining the role is one that could only be carried out by a vaccinated worker.
"The whole purpose of the role was border protection with considerably stricter responsibility to adhere to Covid restrictions and personal obligations to follow employer health and safety requirements," says ERA member David Beck.
"Whilst no serious misconduct or performance issues were evident and the ending of the employment was prompted by extraordinary external factors outside the control of the parties, I cannot conclude that GF could not have avoided being dismissed.
"On the contrary, given the nature of the role, its clear communicated expectations and profile, I find that [the employee] should have reasonably anticipated that the issue of a vaccination would come up when accepting the position of a front-line border protection officer."
The unjustified dismissal and disadvantage and breach of good faith claims were dismissed.