The Employment Court has frozen $14,000 of a Director’s assets to prevent them being removed from the country. This order was made after the company failed to pay its employee for several months.

The employee had continued working under the promise they would be paid in the near future. The company was then placed into liquidation.

The Employment Relations Authority held the Director personally liable for the unpaid wages.

The employee learned that the Director was about to travel overseas. This prospective travel was concerning to the employee as they had recently also learned the Director sold their home in a mortgagee sale.

The business also lacked assets to pay off its creditors. The employee believed the Director was attempting to leave the country in order to avoid paying any potential debts.

The Employment Court found the Director still had assets that were at risk of being transferred outside New Zealand. The freezing order was granted preventing their removal from the country subject to review after the fuller hearing in the Authority.

If you believe there is a risk that your debtor is trying to move assets overseas, it is important to consult with a professional quickly, before any potential transfers take place.

It is too late once the assets have left the country and you then have to consider taking potentially slow, difficult and expensive action overseas to enforce the debt.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer