The Employment Relations Authority has held that the signature of an employee on an employment agreement was forged by the employer. 

The employer claimed that the employee had signed the agreement and was therefore bound by a 90 day trial period, whereas the employee denied ever having signed an employment agreement.

The original agreement was not produced, but a photocopy of the agreement was available and that was submitted to a handwriting expert for analysis.  The expert’s evidence was that the signature on the individual employment agreement was an exact copy of the signature on another document signed that day by the employee for the employer and had been electronically cut from one document and inserted on the employment agreement. 

The ERA held therefore that the document was not signed by the employee and therefore there was no 90 day trial period.  The employee can therefore bring a personal grievance for her unjustified dismissal claim.

One suspects that, given the fraudulent conduct by the employer in attempting to forge the signature of the employee on the employment agreement, their evidence may not be believed in relation to the unjustified dismissal claim. 

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer