An ex-employee has been fined for breaching a confidential mediated settlement that the employee would resign but the employer would pay him his full notice period, as well as an additional amount of compensation. Sometime later the employee posted on Facebook that he had been paid a lot of money to leave.

The employer was made aware of the post after it was sent around the workplace. The employer brought a claim in the Employment Relations Authority (“ERA”), for the breach of the confidentiality clause. The employee denied breaching the confidentially provision of the agreement, claiming he had never stated the amount of money he had been paid and the reference to the money paid to him actually referred to his holiday pay, not the compensation payments.

The ERA found the ex-employee’s claims “fanciful” and there was no doubt it referred to the settlement payment. 

The ERA imposed a penalty of $3000 on the ex-employee to demonstrate the unacceptability of the breach and to deter others from doing anything similar.