Unlawful sacking from $155K IT job cripples Auckland immigrant family

Author
Martin Johnston, NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 27 December 2017, 8:52a.m.

A man went from earning $155,000 as an IT analyst to living in his car and working as an Uber Eats driver after he was sacked under the 90-day-trial rule.

Ahmed Alkazaz, 31, lost his lucrative position in New Zealand days before his wedding in Egypt, which he'd poured his savings into - and had to spend his honeymoon applying for jobs.

The Employment Relations Authority ruled he was unjustifiably sacked and has awarded him $35,500 in lost wages, compensation and part of the financial penalty imposed on his former employer, Enterprise IT.

The company said it was considering an appeal.

Alkazaz, originally from Egypt, was hired in September last year to be a senior Oracle database analyst at Enterprise IT.

Three months later the company dismissed him, stating that his employment would not be extended beyond the 90-day trial. It said the sacking was based on Alkazaz's performance, which managers believed was at the junior database administrator level.

Alkazaz had been called to a series of meetings with company managers which he thought were standard catch-ups, but which were in fact about his performance.

"Behind the scenes E-IT was assembling a list of what were seen as mistakes and errors [committed] by Mr Alkazaz from at least 31 October 2016," the authority member who considered the case, Nicola Craig, said in her decision.

"However, that list was not put to him whilst he was still employed, although some matters from it were discussed with him.

"Mr Alkazaz was not told that he was going through a performance management process or a disciplinary process. There was no formal performance management or improvement plan. He did not receive any warnings.

"With one exception, Mr Alkazaz does not accept that he made mistakes when working at E-IT."

Ahmed Alkazaz, his wife Nagham Eldemiri and their 2-month-old baby Adam. Alkazaz was found to have been unjustifiably dismissed from his IT job. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Ahmed Alkazaz, his wife Nagham Eldemiri and their 2-month-old baby Adam. Alkazaz was found to have been unjustifiably dismissed from his IT job. Photo / Brett Phibbs

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