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$60 employment contract could prevent a whopping penalty

$60 Federated Farmers employment contract could prevent a $20,000 penalty


With Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)’s Labour Inspectorate conducting dairy farm employment law inspections, Federated Farmers is urging employers to get their affairs in order.

“The law is the law so there’s no excuse for deficient time recording or having no employment agreement,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Employment spokesperson.

“If there is a positive we can take, it is that 36 out of 44 farms inspected had adequate employment contracts. This tallies with the 83.5 percent found in the 2013 Rabobank/Federated Farmers Farm Remuneration Report.

“It must of course get to 100 percent but the biggest concern is that MBIE found there was widespread failure to adequately record time and holidays.

“Failure here can quickly put your business into employment law quicksand.

“If you are a Federated Farmers member, our industry standard employment contract costs just $60 ($300 for non-members). Calling 0800 327 646 or getting one from fedfarm.org.nz seems a ridiculously small price to pay when the penalties are up to $20,000.

“This industry standard contract includes comprehensive notes on the minimum wage, holidays act, seasonal averaging, accommodation and the like. It is written in plain-English for farmers too so there are systems that will help farmers stay on the right side of the law.

“We can add our 0800 FARMING line, which provides free legal advice to members. If you are a member please use it because it is there to help you out.

“Going forward, it would greatly help us out if MBIE released results like this to New Zealand’s rural media first. This helps to convey an important message direct to farm employers in print, radio, television as well as online.

“Farmers across the country can expect a visit from the Labour Inspectorate to check their compliance with employment law. Federated Farmers suggestion is to get your affairs in order and we can help you out,” Katie Milne concluded.

Ends

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