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Labour Law Breaches Cost Small Business $54K

Published 10 May 2016

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered nearly $54,000 in penalties and arrears against a Wellington dairy citing failures for minimum labour standards.

Following a compliant from an ex-employee an investigation by a labour inspector from MBIE found several shortcomings by the business owner and was charged in the ERA.

Lack of time & wage records, breaches of minimum wage, failures to provide holiday pay, statutory holiday and annual leave entitlements along with a premium charged by the company to the Employee in order to secure the position and a Work Visa, all contributed to the $54,000 fine handed down including $15,000 in penalties.

Labour Inspectorate Wellington Regional Manager Kevin Finnegan says exploitation of workers is not acceptable in our society and such practices breach New Zealand laws.

“Migrant workers are a particularly vulnerable section of the workforce and are an increasing focus for the Ministry’s enforcement operations. Migrant workers have the same employment rights as all other workers in New Zealand and charging employment premiums breaches the Wages Protection Act 1983” says Kevin Finnegan of the Labour Inspectorate.

“This ruling sends a clear message to employers that failure to comply with the minimum labour standards and seeking premium payments from vulnerable workers will not be tolerated,”

Source: MBIE