A building apprentice told to "f*** off" from his job has been awarded just under $9000 after winning his case with the employment relations authority.

Cameron Hore and Hedley Ruffell had been playing cricket together for a few years before Ruffell offered Hore a job with his company ACL Construction as an apprentice builder.

After leaving the job he was then working for, Hore began work at ACL on February 20 last year.

According to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) over the course of his employment, Hore occasionally had difficulty getting either full or any payment for various weeks' wages.


The ERA states that on July 6, Ruffell handed Hore a letter dated June 19 terminating the employment, effective July 16.

Hore handed the letter back the following day, noting the incorrect date and outlining wages owed.

On July 11, Hore gave Ruffell a letter outlining his personal grievance claim over what he said was an unjustified dismissal.

Ruffell responded by telling him to "f*** off" from the job, at which point Hore left.

In his complaint to the ERA, Hore claimed ACL breached his employment agreement, failed to pay all of his wages, failed to pay his notice period and holiday pay and unjustifiably dismissed him.

Ruffell's reasoning for the dismissal was a conflict of personalities. Hore said this was surprising as the two were friends and had played cricket together for years.

In her ruling in December, ERA member Nicola Craig found Hore had been unjustifiably dismissed, and said while it was a small employer, there was no reason Ruffell couldn't have discussed any issues with Hore.

She said there was no clear reason for the dismissal.


"Hore had given up a position with a well-established employer to work for a man he thought that he could rely on due to their sporting connection," Craig said.

"There can be no doubt that Mr Hore's dismissal was not carried out in a manner which a fair and reasonable employer could have adopted.

"There was no discussion with him beforehand. He was simply handed the decision in writing with a lack of clarity about any reason for the decision."

In his application Hore claimed payment for the unpaid remainder of his notice period, but did not claim for lost wages or compensation for humility, loss of dignity and injury to feelings.

The ERA also found Ruffell had not paid PAYE or KiwiSaver for Hore, despite being asked about this on several occasions.

Craig ordered ACL Construction to pay $3368.25 in unpaid KiwiSaver contributions as well as the PAYE owed.


The $7317.20 in wage arrears, wages in lieu of notice and holiday pay owed to Hore was also to be paid, as well as $1500 towards costs.

Neither party could be reached for comment.