The plaintiff worked as a general manager for a construction company owned by his friend of more than 40 years. The Employment Relations Authority held that he was an employee not a contractor and the Employment Court has upheld that finding. He can therefore bring his claims of unjustified dismissal to the ERA for a hearing.

The Court found that hostility between the friends has resulted in a complaint to the Police, and has driven their involvement in this and other litigation before the Disputes Tribunal over an item of modest value.

The Court has directed that the friends go to mediation to resolve the dispute, including the matter that was before the Disputes Tribunal. If it settles at mediation we will never know the outcome, but given the hostility between them it may be back before the Courts for a ruling in due course. Watch this space.