An Australian engineer has been sacked from an NZ power company after running up $NZ23,500 in roaming charges on his work phone on a trip back to Sri Lanka and then turning up for work a day late.
The Employment Relations Authority has ruled the Mighty River Power company was justified in sacking the man but says it must pay him $NZ6000 because of the stress he suffered during the disciplinary process, which had defects.
The Sri Lankan-born man has name suppression until next month.
According to the ERA ruling, he was sacked by Hamilton-based MRP in January after being recruited from Australia six months earlier.
It said racking up a $NZ23,500 phone bill, poor driving after just two to three hours sleep and being absent without authorised leave were serious enough offences to warrant dismissal.
In December, the man returned to Sri Lanka for three weeks with his family to attend a wedding and took his work phone with him.