The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim from a dismissed driver for his unjustified dismissal, and awarded around $5,000 compensation.

The driver was dismissed without any disciplinary process being followed after his boss discovered he had contacted the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment about his poor working conditions.

Despite there being no written employment contract, and payment of “koha” rather than wages, the ERA found that the driver was a regular, on-call, casual employee who was paid regularly and reported to a manager as an integral part of the business.

He was therefore not a volunteer as the employer claimed.

It is important to establish the correct status of people involved in your business whether they are employees, contractors or volunteers.  A failure to do so can be costly.