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Burger King banned from hiring migrants

Published 11 Sep 2018

It would seem like a strong stand has been taken against companies that hire and exploit migrant workers. A current case in reference is Burger King.

Burger King was ordered by the ERA to pay a former employee $3,500.00 after being found to have breached the Minimum Wage Act. As a result of this the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has put Burger King on its stand-down list, banning them from getting new visas for migrant workers until 17 July 2019.

Further to this a former businessman who liquidated his company in an attempt not to pay a fine imposed upon his company for breaching the Minimum Wage Act, is now personally hold liable to pay former workers the outstanding amount of $120,000.00. This came after the owner was fined by the Labour Inspectorate for owing $210,000.00 in wages to 75 workers on a vegetable farm.

This is not the first case where personal liability is enforced. In 2016 the wife of a fast food businessman was held liable for more than $20,000.00 in unpaid wages of migrant workers. In the same month three owners of a clothing store chain were found personally liable for nearly $70,000.00 owed to migrant workers.   

Kevin Finnegan, head of Horticulture at the Labour Inspectorate said that they would continue to fight cases like this to stop employers hiding behind a company name or closing down the company to elude paying fines.

2 times Dominos pizza franchise owner in Auckland has had to pay $54,000 in arrears owed to staff and was slapped with a $32,400 fine following an investigation by the Labour Inspectorate.

Once again, specifically the basic standards failed to be met were:

  • Time and wage record keeping
  • Holiday and leave records
  • Providing compliant Employment Agreements

Needless to say the owner is now an ex-franchise owner.