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


Business owners to personally pay for breaching standards

Two Employment Relations Authority (ERA) determinations have sent a strong message that both businesses and owners can be significantly penalised for breaching multiple employment standards.

The ERA has ordered Napier restaurant Golden Spring Takeaway, owned by Huichan Xu as a sole trader, to pay $30,000 for breaching minimum employment standards for two migrant employees.

“The Labour Inspectorate investigation found that Golden Spring Takeaway breached 10 standards including failing to retain copies of the individual employment agreements, failing to keep a wage and time records, and failing to keep holiday and leave records as required by law,” says Labour Inspectorate National Manager Stu Lumsden.

“The employees worked long hours, seven days a week with no days off for a period of over six months.

“Initially Ms Xu denied that the pair were employed by her and also providing the Inspectorate with manufactured records developed once the investigation had begun.

“This is a reminder that migrant workers are a particularly vulnerable section of the workforce, as they’re less likely to be aware of their rights and entitlements and can be concerned regarding their visa status.”

A second determination penalised an Auckland flooring company for a similar amount for breaching all minimum employment standards.

Modern Floor and Wall Limited and its owner Mr Srinivas Panuganti each received fines for breaches against two employees.

The $25,000 total penalties were spilt between the company, fined $15,000, and its sole director who has been ordered to pay $10,000 out of his own pocket.

“The Inspectorate found that the company and Mr Panuganti failed to meet minimum employment standards by not providing the employees minimum wage, maintaining holiday and leaving records or paying holiday pay.

“The penalties covered the employees being asked to pay a ‘premium’ to the director to retain their employment – basically having to pay to have their job,” says Mr Lumsden.

“Businesses should not be making profit at the expense of their employees. It is good to see the ERA is holding not only companies but directors personally culpable for penalties.

“Every employer needs to keep wage, time, holiday and leave records to ensure they meet all minimum standards, and where these are not in place the Inspectorate can and will impose fines.”

MBIE encourages anyone who has information about minimum standards not being met to phone the Ministry’s service centre on 0800 20 90 20, where all concerns will be handled in a safe environment

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Industry Report: Growing Interactive Sector Wants Screen Grants

Introducing a coordinated plan that invests in emerging talent and allows interactive media to access existing screen industry programmes would create hundreds of hi-tech and creative industry jobs. More>>


Ground Rules: Government Moves To Protect Best Growing Land

“Continuing to grow food in the volumes and quality we have come to expect depends on the availability of land and the quality of the soil. Once productive land is built on, we can’t use it for food production, which is why we need to act now.” More>>


Royal Society: Calls For Overhaul Of Gene-Technology Regulations

An expert panel considering the implications of new technologies that allow much more controlled and precise ‘editing’ of genes, has concluded it’s time for an overhaul of the regulations and that there’s an urgent need for wide discussion and debate about gene editing... More>>


Retail: Card Spending Dips In July

Seasonally-adjusted electronic card spending dipped in July by 0.1 percent after being flat in June, according to Stats NZ. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent lift, according to the median in a Bloomberg poll. More>>


Product Stewardship: Govt Takes More Action To Reduce Waste

The Government is proposing a new way to deal with environmentally harmful products before they become waste, including plastic packing and bottles, as part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills. More>>


Earnings Update: Fonterra Sees Up To $675m Loss On Writedowns

“While the Co-op’s FY19 underlying earnings range is within the current guidance of 10-15 cents per share, when you take into consideration these likely write-downs, we expect to make a reported loss of $590-675 million this year, which is a 37 to 42 cent loss per share." More>>