Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Business owner banned from employing staff

5 April 2018

Business owner banned from employing staff after serious breaches

The former owner of Christchurch bar and eatery, Watershed Bar and Restaurant, and restaurant, Sequoia 88, has been banned from hiring staff for three years after he was found to have intentionally and persistently breached employment law.

Gordon Freeman, the sole director and shareholder of Victoria 88 Limited, was banned from hiring, being involved in hiring employees, or being an officer of an employer, following an application by the Labour Inspectorate to the Employment Court.

Labour Inspectorate national manager Stu Lumsden says, “This case demonstrates the Inspectorate’s commitment to having employers removed from the labour market who seriously fail to meet their obligations, and are unfit to be employers.”

“Mr Freeman cynically abused the trust placed in employers, and disregarded the basic rules put in place to ensure everyone in the workplace is getting a fair deal. This ban should serve as a clear warning to any other employers who aren’t taking their obligations seriously.”

The decision came after Mr Freeman, despite being fined by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) previously, continued to include an illegal clause in his employment agreements stating that staff would forfeit their holiday pay if less than six weeks’ notice was given when resigning.

“This is the first time a banning order has ever been imposed by the Employment Court, a sanction introduced in 2016 to strengthen the enforcement of minimum employment standards. We will not hesitate to seek further bans on employers where we encounter such poor practices.”

In addition to the banning order, the Employment Court ordered Mr Freeman and his businesses to pay $20,000 in penalties, of which $7,845 is to be paid to 23 affected employees. Half of those penalties, including the arrears, are to be paid by Mr Freeman personally.

A person who breaches a banning order is liable on conviction by the District Court or the High Court to a fine up to $200,000, a term of imprisonment of up to three years, or both.

Anyone concerned about their employment situation, or the situation of someone they know, should call 0800 20 90 20 where they can report their concerns in a safe environment.

[ends]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Land Report: Issues With Soil Degradation

An environmental report released today has found we are damaging and losing our soils and our native plants and animals. More>>

ALSO:

Water Quality Report: Cause For Optimism

National River Water Quality Trends released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) this week, reveal that for all river water quality parameters monitored over a 10 year period, more sites were improving than deteriorating. More>>

ALSO:

IMF Report On NZ: Positive Economic Outlook

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has welcomed the IMF’s Concluding Statement, released following its annual visit, which provides an independent assessment of the strength of the New Zealand economy. More>>

ALSO:

Retail Power Price: Review Panel Named

The Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has released the details of who will sit on an expert advisory panel which is tasked with leading a review into the price of electricity in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:


Increasingly Disruptive Threats: Govt Cyber Security Refresh

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran today announced a comprehensive refresh of New Zealand’s approach to cyber security. More>>

ALSO:


Regional Growth: Action Plan To Modernise Taranaki’s Economy

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest up to $20 million to help future-proof the Taranaki region by diversifying its economy, creating additional jobs and leveraging off the strong base the region has established through its oil, gas and agricultural ... More>>

ALSO:

Winding Down Irrigation: Funding Ends For Crown Irrigation Investment

The Government has begun winding down public funding for large-scale irrigation through Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL), in line with the Coalition Agreement and the Confidence & Supply Agreement. More>>

ALSO: