In a recent decision of the ERA, an employee was awarded $38,000.00 after the employer did not allow the employee to commence work.

The employee was approached with an offer of employment which he accepted.  The employee then attended a handful of meetings in the capacity of his new role.  At the same time, the employee tried to turn up for work at the offices of the employer but the offices were empty.  Shortly after, the employer stopped communicating with the employee.  The employee never received any remuneration.

The ERA was satisfied that the employer had intended to enter an employment relationship with the employee but had then simply defaulted on its obligations.

The consequence for an employer of entering an employment relationship with an employee is that both parties are then bound by applicable employment laws.  Both parties have certain rights and responsibilities, and breaches of those can be costly.

In this case the ERA found that the employee had been dismissed in a manner which was contrary to his rights and the employer’s responsibilities under the Employment Relations Act (he was unjustifiably dismissed).  Consequently, the employer was ordered to pay the employee $38,000 being compensation ($10,000), lost wages ($25,000), holiday pay ($2,000), and legal costs ($1,000).