In a recent dispute an employee refused to sign an employment agreement provided to her after she commenced work.

The employee had worked for the employer before on a fixed term agreement.  She was then taken back on for an agreed fixed term, but no employment agreement was signed before she started.

She then refused to sign the new fixed term agreement, claiming she was offered a permanent position.  To avoid an argument the employer offered the employee a permanent agreement on the same terms as previously (apart from the duration), but the employee refused to sign any agreement and failed to detail what it was she disagreed with in the agreement.

The employee has a duty to be communicative, but the employer will be put to the huge disruption and costs of an Employment Relations Authority hearing, to determine the terms of the “agreement”, as the employee is employed, but will not agree on any terms beyond those required by law.  She will not even agree to the terms she agreed to in her prior employment.

The lesson from this is that no employer should allow any employee to commence work unless the employment agreement has already been signed and returned to the employer.

If you need help getting your employment agreement process right give me a call on (04) 473 6850.