Mr and Mrs Donegan own a pharmacy. The pharmacy was busy so they decided to employ 19-year-old university student Elizabeth Matthews. Elizabeth commenced work at the pharmacy in December 2003.
Mrs Donegan: "We'll pay you $12 an hour. There won't be any set hours but we'll probably need you after university every day and on Saturdays. Ok?"
Mrs Donegan: "We'll give you your earnings in cash on Thursday nights. You know, it's up to you if you want to speak to the tax office about deducting tax from what we give you. You probably like to go down south during university holidays - that will still be all right but, of course, you won't be paid for those periods."
Elizabeth signed a contract detailing the agreement reached with the Donegans. Elizabeth worked very hard at the pharmacy. Her duties involved tidying up the shelves in the shop and in the storeroom, as well as serving customers.
Mr Donegan insisted that all pharmaceutical products be shelved in reverse alphabetical order on the floor of the storeroom and Elizabeth spent many challenging hours ensuring that this system was adhered to. Mr Donegan also gave her a half-day training in shop etiquette.
It is now May 2005. Sadly, Elizabeth has just taken four weeks off work due to a nasty outbreak of boils on her face but the Donegans have refused to pay her sick leave. Is Elizabeth entitled to sick leave?
What are the legal issues?
1. Firstly it is important to establish whether or not a relationship of employer/employee exists between Elizabeth and the Donegans (as distinguished from one of hirer/independent contractor)
2. Is there an employment contract?
3. What are the agreed terms of this contract?
4. What type of contract of employment does Elizabeth have? Is...