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Ministry’s freezing action recovers wage arrears and fines

Ministry’s freezing action recovers wage arrears and fines


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has recovered money ordered to be paid to eleven migrant workers who were employed by three Auckland liquor and convenience stores.

The Labour Inspectorate was granted freezing orders by the Employment Court in October as part of recovering monies which the companies were ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay for breaches of employment law. The companies shared the same sole director.

As a result of the freezing orders the companies have paid all minimum wages and holiday pay ordered to be paid to the employees and a significant amount in penalties has also been paid to the workers.

Labour Inspectorate Northern Regional Manager David Milne says the Inspectorate was committed to recovering what was owed to the employees and also ensuring penalties were paid. This settlement is an excellent result.

“It was clear sufficient funds weren’t available to cover all the substantial penalties ordered by the Authority for breaching employment laws as well as the money ordered to be paid to the employees.”

“We have recovered what was available and we achieved our objective of paying the employees and holding the employers to account.”

“The case serves as a clear warning to other employers who breach minimum labour standards. The Labour Inspectorate will not tolerate these breaches and will ensure accountability for them”.

In August the Employment Relations Authority ordered that the companies pay penalties for breaching the Minimum Wage Act 1983, the Holidays Act 2003 and the Employment Relations Act 2000 by not providing employment agreements; and ordered the companies to pay $96,574.33 as minimum wages and holiday pay.

“Anyone with concerns about their employment should phone the MBIE call centre on 0800 20 90 20 where concerns will be handled in a safe environment.”

[ends]

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