An employee who worked as a nanny has had her personal grievance claim for constructive dismissal upheld by the Employment Relations Authority.

The ERA found that despite there being no written employment agreement, the employer owed obligations to the employee which she breached when she failed to pay the employee for all of her hours worked. This breach occurred from the first week of employment, and after five weeks the employee had been ‘short paid’ over $700. The ERA noted that despite the employer arguing that her breaches were due to delays in receiving WINZ payments which subsidized her childcare, after these payments were received the employer continued to short pay the employee.

The ERA held that the employee’s resignation was a foreseeable response to the employer’s unlawful conduct after she failed to pay her correctly, and failed to back pay her. The ERA found that the employer’s behavior was likely to continue and therefore, the employee’s resignation was compelled by the improper conduct of the employer.

The ERA awarded $700 in lost wages plus $2,000 compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings. $1,300 was awarded for wage arrears, holiday pay and employer’s contribution to KiwiSaver.