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Labour Inspectorate has serious grounds to investigate Party

Labour Inspectorate has serious grounds to investigate Labour Party

By the explicit standards of the Labour Inspectorate, the Labour Party has taken advantage of migrant workers, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“By calling its workers volunteers, when they were actually full time workers paid in shoddy accommodation, Labour’s actions reflect the treatment of travelling workers by the accommodation industry, which was slammed by the Labour Inspectorate last year,” says Mr Seymour.

From the NZ Herald, December 2016:

"Businesses cannot evade their obligations as employers by calling their workers volunteers and then simply rewarding them with a bed in a dormitory, food and Wi-Fi rather than a fair wage," said Labour Inspectorate general manager George Mason.

"This practice. . .takes advantage of the good nature of travellers who may not know what their employment rights are," Mason said.

The investigation revealed many so-called "volunteers" were working up to 32 hours per week in exchange for accommodation and food rather than a wage. "They are taking advantage of these workers," Mason said.

"Wherever a worker is being rewarded in a business at whatever level, the Labour Inspectorate's starting position is that these people are employees and minimum employment standards apply. This means providing clear documentation for these workers, with written employment agreements, accommodation agreements, keeping wage and time records, paying wages in money, and paying tax."

“Based on these comments, it’s clear that the Labour Inspectorate has grounds to investigate the Labour Party, just as they did the accommodation industry,” says Mr Seymour.

“The irony of the Labour Party falling offside with the Labour Inspectorate could not be more stark. This is a party that has issued press release after press release accusing businesses of migrant exploitation. They’ve even campaigned on a boost in funding for the Labour Inspectorate. Once the Inspectorate is done with them, they might regret that policy.

“The fact Labour can’t even treat their own migrant workers right show that all the noise they make over migrant exploitation is really just a way of putting lipstick on their own anti-migrant policies.

“Only ACT is left standing up for both migrants and the employers who treat them well.”


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