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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22888
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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What should an Employer do if they lose or have stolen the

Customer Question

What should an Employer do if they lose or have stolen the only copy of an employee's contract ? What are the implications for both the employee & the employer if work continues without a replacement contract & a disciplinary issue arises ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : The responsibility for providing the employee with a contract is on the employer. If there was one but it is lost, then the employer must provide a new one. This can be a new contract, as close to the old of course, as is possible.
christhelawyer : it is illegal not to have a written contract, and the employer must provide a copy to the employee on request.
christhelawyer : but the practical solution is just to draft a new contract to replace the lost one.
JACUSTOMER-mae36dc1- : My Employer held my contract at their residential premises - not the business premises. The house was broken into two years ago and my contract was stolen along with all my employers possessions. The contract has never been replaced. I now have an issue where my employer has issued me with a suspension letter pending investigation into alleged misconduct. I have asked for my contract to check that there is a term regarding suspension procedure in it which I doubt - but they do not have my contract !
JACUSTOMER-mae36dc1- : My employer held my contract at their residential address not the business address. Unfortunately my contract was stolen 2 years ago along with all of the household contents. I have received a suspension letter for alleged misconduct & have asked to view my contract as I want to check that there is a term in the contract detailing suspension procedures. I'm pretty sure there is no such term so I believe the company cannot suspend me. However there is no contract to refer to. I have had a look at the Company's standard contract terms and conditions and there is no detail in that regarding suspension. I believe my contract to be the same.
christhelawyer : Your employer must give you another copy on your request. But suspension is not something which they need to put in the contract, and they can suspend you on pay while they investigate the misconduct. They have the ability to do this under employment law. Sometimes contracts do have clauses about this, but not always.

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