WINZ worker fired for helping family

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 12:16 04/12/2012

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A former Work and Income New Zealand employee sacked for helping family and friends find jobs has failed to win her job back.

Dellwyn Rhind accessed the files of 13 friends and family, including her ex-husband, sister and step-daughter, and put their names forward in a bid to get them employed at Ford Motors in Manukau.

She alleged it was common practise at WINZ and sought reinstatement and compensation for the distress caused by her sacking.

However, the Employment Relations Authority found she was justifiably dismissed for serious misconduct.

The authority found no evidence of other WINZ employees taking similar actions and ruled her employer had carried out a fair investigation.

Rhind had argued she only accessed the records between 2005 and 2011 to help friends and family for "business purposes".

When questioned on other employees who had breached the rules, Rhind was unable to identify anyone.

"Rhind failed to provide credible evidence of who in management was aware of or had condoned such actions or when it may have occurred," authority member Rachel Larmer said.

Eight WINZ employees also testified it was not common practice to search the files of friends and family because it breached the Ministry of Social Development code.

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- Auckland Now

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