The Employment Relations Authority has found the wife of an employer personally liable to pay the businesses former employees unpaid wages and holiday pay.

The employer was declared bankrupt and the company associated with the business of which the employer was the sole director and shareholder was liquidated.

The ERA found that the employer’s wife could be defined as a ‘company officer’ due to her prior and ongoing involvement in the business. The wife was part of the businesses management team and directed/authorised the non-payment of wages to staff.

The ERA ordered the employer’s wife to pay staff over $70,000 in wage arrears and holiday pay.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer