The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay wage arrears to an employee after a claim for short payment of wages.

The employee alleged that they worked a certain number of hours per day, but were only paid for the hours set out in their employment agreement.  The employer challenged the employee’s claim that they worked a longer number of hours, but could not produce any time sheets to show the hours the employee worked.

In addition the employee could only produce wage slips where the payments did not accord with the employment agreement, nor were the hours the same as the employer claimed the employee worked.  The Employment Relations Authority therefore preferred the evidence of the employee as to the amount of hours worked and ordered the employer to pay the $8,700, being the shortfall between the amounts paid and the hours the employee claimed to have worked. 

The onus is on an employer to keep records of hours worked and wages paid. If they cannot produce such records to the Employment Relations Authority or Labour Inspector then the ERA and Labour Inspector can assume that the employees claim for wages is correct. The employer becomes liable for whatever wages the employee claims.  It is vital therefore to keep full records and produce them to the ERA and Labour Inspector when required.

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer