An employee obtained orders for their employer to pay wages owed to them under the ‘garden leave’ provision of their agreement. The employee had resigned and was not required to work out their notice but was put on gardening leave. The employee was then seen driving the competitor’s vehicle while still being paid by the employer.

The Employment Relations Authority dismissed the employer’s claims that the employee had breached their obligations of good faith by using a competitor’s vehicle.

The employer’s decision to withhold wages was unjustified and breached the law.

The ERA found the employer had failed to correctly cancel the contract through failing to notify the employee of its intention to cancel the contract. They made no attempt to contact the employee before ceasing paying to advise that they were cancelling the employment contract and failed to respond to contact from the employee.

The employer failed to act fairly and reasonably, and the ERA ordered the employer to pay the wages owed to the employee.

The parties were also directed to mediation to address other issues regarding allegations each has made about breaches of their employment agreement.