ERA dismisses man’s claim Armourguard hired then fired him

A would-be security guard has failed in his attempt to claim he was unjustifiably dismissed from a job Armourguard says he was never given.

Rex Head took the company to the Employment Relations Authority.

He said he was interviewed for a job with Armourguard on 11 July by a Māori man in his mid-to-late 50s who had a “moustache and a bit of a stomach”.

The man told him, he said, that there was a job for him at the Auckland railway station for four hours a day.

A week later, Head visited Armourguard because he had not been contacted about his application.

He was told the company was getting his Certificate of Approval, which is a course for security personnel.

He received a text from the recruitment team with a link to apply.

Ten days later, he followed up asking what was happening. Armourguard told him it was waiting to hear back from the Ministry of Justice.

He later did his own Certificate of Approval course, at his own cost, with a third party and told Armourgaurd in August that he had sent the details to the ministry.

On 4 August, he was contacted by Armourguard thanking him for the meeting about the role but telling him it would not take his application further.

Head responded that he would take his case to the Employment Court because he had been accepted as a security guard at the end of the job interview. He suggested ageism was to blame.

Armourguard representative Brenda Christiansen said Head had never been an employee nor received an offer of employment.

“Christiansen says that Mr Head’s age was not a reason for the decline but rather his criminal and driving convictions history and the potential reputational risk these posed to the company,” authority member Peter Fuiava noted.

Head’s criminal record is subject to the clean slate scheme. Fuiava said there seemed to have been a mistake in disclosing to a third party the information that was subject to that scheme but that was not Armourguard’s fault and “it cannot unsee what it has seen”.

Fuiava said there was a lack of corroborative evidence to support Head’s claim that a verbal offer of employment had been made.

“The interviewer no longer works for Armourguard and could not therefore support or deny the claims made by Mr Head who has never seen him again. Moreover, Ms Christiansen says that Mr Head was interviewed by two female members of staff both of whom were not Māori. If Mr Head is mistaken about the gender and ethnicity of his interviewer, he may have misunderstood what was said to him at his interview.”

Fuiava said the company’s process was usually for an offer to be made at the end of a seven-step process.

“To have offered Mr Head employment without first checking whether he has any relevant convictions makes no commercial sense when clients are expected to be able to trust security staff assigned by the company to either protect their person or their property.

“For example, employing someone to guard a bank who has a conviction for burglary or relates to dishonesty would be a poor selection decision that would adversely affect Armourguard’s commercial reputation to the banking client if these were made known.”

Fuiava dismissed Head’s claim.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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