The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for a constructive dismissal.  The employee was unable to work during one of the lockdowns and the employer failed to pay her wages during that period.  The employee attempted to contact the employer on many occasions to discuss the non-payment of wages, but received no substantive response to her attempts at contact.

The employee decided to resign as she was not being paid and the employer was not responding to her.  The ERA held that the failure to respond was a breach of good faith, as the employer was required to be active and communicative with its employee.  The resignation was caused by this breach of good faith and therefore the employer was liable for constructive dismissal.

The employer was ordered to pay $8,000 in unpaid wages, plus interest, together with lost wages following the dismissal of $13,900 and $15,000 compensation for hurt and humiliation.  In addition the employer was ordered to pay a penalty of $5,000 for their failure to pay wages during the lockdown.

Both parties have an obligation to be open and communicative with each other, so it pays to respond when requested to communicate.  If you are unsure how you should respond, then it pays to get advice from a professional experienced in the area.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer