09 August 2004
Pathetic Fine for Serious Breach of Holidays Act
A $2,000 fine for an employer who hired an illegal worker and then ripped him off for seven years was pathetic and no deterrent to other employers determined to ignore the law, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
An Auckland bakery owner received the fine after he admitted employing an illegal worker and seriously breaching the Holidays Act.
The man worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week for just $4.70 an hour. He was forced to take unpaid holidays even though he was entitled to paid leave.
“This employer could have been fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to seven years in jail, for this breach of the Holidays Act. That he was fined just $2,000 shows the law has not been taken seriously,” Ross Wilson said.
“Some employers think they are above the law when it comes to their workers and many have openly said they would defy the new holidays legislation, as if it was less important than other laws of the land.
“This case shows the type of shameful behaviour that results from that kind of attitude,” he said.