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Police Not Above The Law

Published 09 Mar 2020

Following an investigation by the Labour Inspectorate NZ Police have been fined $7000 and were stood down from hiring migrant workers for 6 months for breaching employment minimum standards.

Police 'vetters' have always been paid a 'piece rate' for their work - remunerated on a per file basis.

While paying a piece rate is perfectly legal, provided you are above the minimum wage for the time it takes, the Employment Relations and Holidays Act requires a complete record of hours worked for wages - even if you are paid a piece rate. NZ Police had failed to keep records of hours worked and as such were in breach of the Act, and since April 2017 any employer found in breach of immigration and employment law must undergo a mandatory stand-down period from being allowed to hire migrant workers for a minimum of 6 months.

A lesson to anyone who pays staff a piece rate or commission, you still need to keep accurate records of times and hours worked in order to calculate wages and prove you are paying at least the minimum wage, otherwise you are failing to comply with the Act.