It is compulsory to have a written employment agreement for all employees.  This includes a whānau member as a recent example highlights.

The employer had a sister who was short of work so in the spirit of whanaungatanga offered her employment to do odd jobs around the business.  As she was a whānau member the employer did not bother with getting the paperwork done.  In due course the employer’s sister had an argument with the employer’s spouse and there was a parting of the ways.

They had agreed that the relationship would be as an independent contractor.  After the bust up the sister claimed she was an employee and claimed for unpaid wages.

The Employment Relations Authority found that the sister was a contractor.  On appeal the Employment Court held that she was an employee and awarded compensation.

So even if you are taking on a whānau member make sure you get the paperwork right and get agreements in writing and witnessed to minimise later arguments should there be a disagreement.

If you need help getting the paperwork right give Alan Knowsley a call on 0800 729 529.