The teacher in question had left her old job ready to dive in to the challenge of a new role.  Everything seemed to be going swimmingly: it was agreed that she would begin work on 6 May working 35.5 hours per week at $19.50 per hour.

6 May passed, and the teacher had not heard anything from the employer … in the end a month went by before she received any work.

The ERA found that the employee was ready and available to work; that there was no agreement to start work later than had earlier been agreed; and that the employee had not agreed to forgo her wages for that period.  The teacher was awarded lost wages, holiday pay, and the cost of her filing fee to the total of $5,767.48 ($2,769.00 being awarded for the month spent waiting for work).

Any agreement between employer and employer will form the basis of the employment relationship.  Where an employment agreement stipulates the employee’s hours of work, the employee who is ready and willing to work will be entitled to be paid those hours.  There may be situations where the contracted hours are not payable, but those terms will need to be clearly recorded in the employment agreement.