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Café chef’s 90 day sacking ‘for using too much sauce’


A breakfast chef in a Timaru café was sacked under the 90 day law and the only reason his employer could give was that he was 'using too much sauce and aioli'. The story is the latest 90 day unfair dismissal case released on video by the CTU today.

Aaron Greave began working at the MJC Café and Wine Bar in Timaru in July. He was not given a written employment agreement and there was no mention of a 90 day clause until he was sacked. There had been no indication that his performance was anything other than satisfactory.

You can see Aaron tell his own story at

CTU Secretary Peter Conway said: "This is yet another case of an employer using the 90 day law as a convenient way of getting rid of an employee for any reason, and not because they have given them a chance and found them incompetent."

As in other cases brought to our attention, the CTU has arranged legal advice for Aaron to pursue remedies with the employer. Peter Conway said that Aaron does not want anyone to cease going to the café and neither he nor the CTU want any commercial impact on the business as a result of Aaron speaking out on his rights at work. What Aaron wants in addition to a remedy in his case is for the employment practices to improve at the café and for the 90 day law to be dropped.

"If this law is extended to every workplace in New Zealand we will see many more skilled workers sacked on a whim by some employers and the job security of every worker who changes jobs will be all but swept away. As with the case of the dairy herd manager whose case we highlighted on Monday, Aaron Greave's sacking shows that the 90 day law is not improving New Zealand's productivity; it is actually undermining it by putting experienced employees out of work and even driving them out of the country."