Recouping the costs of employee theft

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Employers dealing with the sometimes hefty costs of employee theft can rest a little easier after a recent determination from the Employment Relations Authority.

The Authority’s decision in the case of Bond v Restaurant Brands Ltd (RBL) awarded the company $8926.41 in damages as a result of Bond’s proven theft (of money from the till).

Although the Authority declined to award RBL general damages based on the company’s suspicions of the amount stolen, its award meant RBL was able to offset a significant expense.

Employment law expert, Peter Cullen, said the case meant employers could take heart that they need not bear the cost of employee theft, and its investigation, alone.

However, he said that to ensure the best possible results, when attempting to reclaim expenses incurred through employee theft, employers should:

  • Adhere to the correct investigation process regarding the employee involved;
  • Provide evidence of the costs incurred, including invoices and timesheets;
  • Demonstrate that the investigatory action taken was reasonable;
  • Show that the costs incurred were a direct result of the employee’s actions;
  • Ensure you have been fair and reasonable in your claims and throughout the investigation; and
  • Do not base a damages claim purely on suspicion – be specific and detailed in any claim.



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