New Zealand Law
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The issue here may be whether her attempts to contact you were genuine. In addition, you would need to be satisfied that the reasons for the delay were correct, and that in fact she has not misrepresented the position with the return to New Zealand. There certainly is an issue with the unplanned leave, at my suggestion is that you should start an employment investigation to ascertain the truth of her statements about her inability to get a sailing back to New Zealand and inability to contact you. She does have obligations to keep you informed. If for example it was true that she could not return as planned because the boat was not available, then she also had an obligation to keep in touch and advise you of the delays. There are Internet providers in Tokelau, and there are also telephones. So she would need to provide evidence of the attempts to contact you. If in fact she did not try after the 11th August, then probably your best response is abandonment of employment. I expect that she is not yet back, and so you should tell her that you intend holding an investigation about the facts, and if you are unhappy with their explanation, then dismissal may be an option.