The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered an employer to pay over $20,000 to an employee for lost wages and compensation for hurt, humiliation and injury to feelings.

The employee was permitted to use the employer’s vehicle to get to and from work. However, after a disagreement between the employer and employee, the employer removed access to the vehicle.

The employee was then required to borrow a vehicle from a family member to get to work. The Employment Relations Authority found that the employee was unfairly treated over the removal of the work vehicle.

Sometimes an employee needs a work vehicle for the purposes of their job. When an employee is able to use a work vehicle for personal use it may form part of the employee’s total remuneration package. If an employer decides to remove vehicle access, it must carefully consider how the employee will be compensated.

Often employers have specific vehicle use policies to address this issue.

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