The Employment Relations Authority has rejected a claim by an employee against his employer and ordered the employee to pay costs to the employer.  This arose in unusual circumstances in that the claim the employee was bringing was under a contract and not in relation to his employment.  The ERA therefore had not jurisdiction to hear the claim and dismissed the claim.

As well as ordering the employee to pay costs to the employer it also ordered increased costs because the employee had failed to comply with the timetable directions made by the ERA and was late filing briefs and other documents.  This led to increased costs being incurred by the defendant employer.

If you do have a claim you must ensure that you bring it to the right jurisdiction or else you will be liable for the costs of your failed attempt.  The employee could have just brought the claim in the Disputes Tribunal or District Court.  If you are unsure as to what jurisdiction you should file a claim in, it pays to get advice from someone experienced in these matters before you launch into proceedings.

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer Wellington