In November I reported an attempt to have the director of an employment advocacy company declared bankrupt for failing to pay either $33,000 or $43,000 in penalties and costs to Turuki Healthcare, whose former employee was a client of the advocate.
Allan Halse’s personal liability was replaced with a new figure of $5,000 by the Employment Court, and he was hoping that even that reduced penalty would fall away with the release of the Court of Appeal’s findings.
In May, Judge Andrew (High Court) allowed a couple of months for the Court of Appeal’s Judicial Review of whether the penalties were lawful in the first place, which we felt was not going to be a long enough abeyance as Judicial Reviews typically take a long time.
So, as the 5 July payment deadline approached, with no findings from the Court of Appeal, Mr Halse had to pony up $5,000 “under duress”, and stated publicly that he hopes to claw that back eventually.
Since our November update, Mr Halse’s former employer Hamilton City Council has joined the cabal and brought an action in the ERA against him for allegedly breaching a seven year old non-disparagement agreement. In that same action, HCC is claiming against his company which didn’t exist until after the employment relationship ended, on 14 February 2014.
Even if the Council wins, they are unlikely to receive a cent of any award because Turuki have a three year head start, unless the Judicial Review kicks their claim to the kerb! Anyway, I’m from Lower Hutt so it’s none of my business what Hamilton City Council spends its ratepayers’ money on.