An employer hired an employee without conducting an interview with the prospective employee. Once employment began, the employer did not provide the employee with an employment agreement. The hours of work and hourly wage were agreed verbally between the parties.

The employee undertook several weeks of work for the employer, passed a drug test and passed a mandatory health and safety course. However the employer texted the employee to say that there would be no more work provided because the employer would be “looking for a fit young person”.

The Employment Relations Authority held that the employer had unjustifiably dismissed the employee and had discriminated against the employee due to his age. The ERA ordered the employer to pay compensation to the employee for hurt, humiliation and injury to feelings and payment of the employee’s notice period.

An employer must provide a written employment agreement and cannot discriminate on the basis of a person’s age. 

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