Hopefully everyone in HR is aware that employees have a right to take either a work colleague or union representative into most grievance and disciplinary hearings. The guidelines are set out in the Acas Code of Practice. There is no mention of clowns.

Occasionally, the employee has an automatic right to be accompanied by a legal representative and, if it is reasonable to make an adjustment to the procedures, a family friend can accompany them if it helps overcome the disadvantage of having a disability.

New Zealand employment laws go further than the Acas Code.

Joshua Jack was called into a work meeting and feared the worst. So he hired an emotional support clown to join him. For Joshua Jack, the suspicion he might lose his job was right.

Speaking to Newshub NZ, Jack confirmed his employer, advertising agency FCB, let him go this week. But having Joe the clown along for the ride definitely “lightened the mood,” he said.

When his supervisors scheduled the meeting, he said he “thought it’s either a promotion or worse… I thought it’s best to bring in a professional and so I paid $200 and hired a clown,” he added.

“By the time the meeting was over, Jack didn’t have a job. But he did have two balloon animals: a unicorn and a poodle”

The process to blow them up and shape them got “rather noisy,” he said, and the meeting attendees “had to tell [Joe the clown] to be quiet from time to time.”

FREE first advice

Have you ever wanted to just ask an expert employment law solicitor if they can help you, without worrying about what it may cost to contact them?

Get in touch

We’d like to talk to you to see what we can do to help, so please either call us anytime for free on 08000 614 631, email us or use the form below.

Together we can work out what your next steps might be...in confidence, at no cost and with no obligation.