An employee has been dismissed after working 272 hours and only being paid $92 which was given to her in cash on the day she was dismissed.

The employee applied to the Employment Relations Authority seeking arrears of wages.

The employer argued that the employee was a volunteer and thus there was no requirement for him to pay her.

A person will not be a volunteer if they have some expectation of payment or reward, or receive some reward for performing their work.

The employee provided the ERA with evidence of text messages which referred to an employment contract and wages which were being prepared for her.

The employee noted that the employer had told her on multiple occasions that her wages would be ready the following week, but that there was always an excuse as to why they were unavailable.

The ERA held that the employee was not a volunteer, and awarded her over $4,000 in outstanding wages plus over $300 in holiday pay.