A Christchurch software firm has been ordered to pay $42,000 to a woman it claimed it hadn't hired.
Charlotte Wood says she worked remotely for Christchurch-based Mero Business from her home in the English county of Sussex.
Wood says she started work for the software development business in 2017 and received $11,000 in wages before payments to her bank account stopped.
In May last year, Wood says she received a letter from Mero director John Wilkinson letting her know the company was unable pay her wages because of an issue with Inland Revenue.
She resigned the following month and took Mero to the Employment Relations Authority, seeking recompense for unpaid wages.
Mero resisted the claim, arguing that Wood's employment agreement was a "draft", unsigned, and that the offer of work was later withdrawn.
Dallas, in his decision, said he was convinced Wood was employed by Mero.
"Even if the employment relationship was not reduced to writing in the form of an employment agreement, I would be satisfied on the evidence that such a relationship existed, Ms Wood performed work for Mero for which she was not paid and, as a consequence, has a wage arrears claim," he said.
Wood was not required to have a valid New Zealand working visa for the agreement to be in effect because she was based in Sussex, he said.
"In the absence of any information from Mero disproving the claim, other than blanket denial . . . I accept Ms Wood's claim for unpaid wages," he said.
"Mero must pay Ms Wood $42,100 gross as wage arrears," he said.
Mero could not be reached for comment.