An employee who worked as a factory manager for his former parents in law’s company until it stopped trading has had his claim for wage arrears rejected by the Employment Relations Authority.

The employee had not signed an employment agreement outlining any annual leave entitlements. The ERA held that the employee was therefore only entitled to three weeks leave, rising to four weeks in 2007.

The ERA was not convinced by the employee’s records of his hours worked and leave taken as he was solely responsible for managing his own leave and was trusted by his previous family to do so accurately. The ERA noted that the employee’s evidence was inconsistent and he had deceitfully over-exaggerated his annual leave entitlement.

The ERA held that the employee was entitled to annual leave of $3,222 at the end of his employment. However, as the employee had taken anticipated annual leave of $4,288.33 he was not owed any wage arrears but had a negative balance of $1,066.33.