The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay $17,000 after failing to pay two employees for accrued annual leave and wages.

The employees were issued notice that the business that they worked for was closing down. Neither of the employees were paid for the work they did in the last two weeks of their employment, nor were they paid for the annual leave they had accrued over the course of their employment.

As well as these entitlements, the employees were entitled to receive 4 weeks’ notice in the event that their employment was to be terminated. No such notice was given, and neither of the employees was paid for the required notice period.

The employees brought a claim seeking to recover the annual leave and wages they were owed.

The Authority decided that the employees were entitled to recover the six weeks of unpaid wages, as well as their unpaid annual leave entitlements.

The employer was ordered to pay $8,000 for the unpaid wages, $5,000 for unpaid annual leave entitlements, and $4,000 for costs.

If the employer had better understood what their employees were entitled to in the event of a dismissal, they could have saved money by avoiding expensive legal fees, as well as saving the time spent in proceedings.

If there is confusion regarding employee entitlements, or the correct dismissal process, it is wise to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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Alan Knowsley