As an avid reader of your site, comparing the problems you exemplify with employment relationship problems here in New Zealand, I am interested in your views on a situation I have dealt with as a Lay Advocate. My client saw a very attractive advertisement for a position as a Contracts Manager with a company boasting 17 years experience, market leadership, advanced technology, employee benefits and profit share possibilities. The business deals in short term contracts quite often being a case of quote, acceptance, deposit paid, completion and payment, in 3 days. There was even an opportunity, for my client, to earn extra money as an agent doing sales for commission. I will use the pseudonym “Bloggs Ltd” (BL) because the matter has been settled confidentially, by mediation.When my client received his employment agreement it was under the heading Bloggs Management Ltd (BML). My client asked the MD who BML was he was told that the full name of the company was BML but for ease of marketing they use the shortened title and even when answering the telephone simply use the title Bloggs. My client was a top line performer and at nights and weekends performed sales agent duties building up a sizeable commission in earnings. Management came up with all sorts of excuses for not paying my client his commission and spasmodically direct credited his bank account with only his salary payments. There were other concerns my client had with the business in that his record of company sales was not registered on the monthly figures. There was clear evidence that a number of cash jobs were being done and that management was soliciting cash payments to avoid Goods & Services Tax obligations. My client came to me for advice and I suggested he formulate a document of issues and make an appointment with the MD to discuss this relationship problem. This strategy is the statutory requirement of NZ Employment Law under the Employment Relations Act 2000.My client made his appointment scheduled for the Monday. In the course of a sales and contractors meeting the Friday prior, my client was subjected to a raft of abuse and baiting by the MD. The next day, Saturday, my clients petrol card was dishonoured. On the Monday the MD rescheduled the meeting for Tuesday morning, then Tuesday afternoon and finally noon Wednesday. At 11am prior to the meeting my client was issued with a disciplinary notice, claiming that my client was commencing a company in conflict with his employer and was recruiting staff and contractors of his employer to join the venture. My client invoked all the appropriate legislated statutory obligations and called for a disciplinary meeting, with my representation, the following week. In response my client was summarily dismissed. The matter ended up in the Employment Court and was resolved by mediation prior. Our investigation found that BML was actually a facade and had only been incorporated days prior to my client signing his employment agreement. My client was the only employee of BML. BML was a tax dodge operating as a loss adjusted write off to enable cash to be withdrawn in the guise of a 10 year rental contract for the premises.BL was the only business with whom any of the contracts, clients, staff, contractors and creditors, conducted business. Because the fraud was internal only the IRD were able to take exemplary action while the Employment Court is unable to punish fraud under statute. Ultimately my client accepted a settlement in which he did forsake tens of thousands of dollars in commissions which were due from BL the entity with whom he had no legal contract. BML was liquidated as an insolvent company with no assets. NZ law does not allow my client to sue for defamation and any and all employment issues are the domain only of the Employment Court. The matter was extensively investigated and my client was beyond reproach in his evidence and performance as an employee. The MD was found to be a rogue with a high turnover of staff and an extensive case history of employment problems, adverse judgments and payouts. Simply, with the average payout from the Employment Court being $4500.00, this rogue employer plays the odds of weak employment legislation saving him hundreds of thousands in contracted staff commitments. Personally he is protected by family trusts, which are unable to be accessed for compensation and of course BL is still trading.How would this matter have been dealt with in your neck of the woods?